\ ˈfist How to pronounce fist (audio) \

Definition of fist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the hand clenched with the fingers doubled into the palm and the thumb doubled inward across the fingers
2 : the hand closed as in grasping : clutch


fisted; fisting; fists

Definition of fist (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grip with the fist : handle
2 : to clench into a fist

Examples of fist in a Sentence

Noun He pounded his fist on the table in anger. She pounded on the door with both fists. He defiantly shook his fist at the policeman.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One image shows Colt, the Idaho man who got into the Senate chamber, raising his fist — which some Trump supporters describe as a leftist gesture. Anchorage Daily News, "Far-right extremists want to target more capitols, but are divided after DC riot," 10 Jan. 2021 After watching Siakam miss a 20-footer from the top of the key as Wiggins blanketed him, Curry popped out his mouthguard, raised his right fist and smiled. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors overcome Steph Curry’s awful shooting night for win over Raptors," 10 Jan. 2021 One protester pulled his fist back, and the cop just puts his hands up and walks back. New York Times, "11 Journalists on Covering the Capitol Siege: ‘This Could Get Ugly’," 9 Jan. 2021 Colbert called out Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who was caught on camera raising his fist to the mob outside the Capitol. Globe Staff,, "‘Treason finale’: Late-night hosts react to Capitol breach," 7 Jan. 2021 As the trooper attempted to put Day into custody, though, FHP said Day struck the trooper with his fist, and pulled at the trooper’s uniform and radio. Richard Tribou,, "FHP arrest Florida man for throwing golf clubs onto interstate," 24 Dec. 2020 The woman raising her fist while holding the poster, the others in their own thoughts. Time, "TIME's Top 10 Photos of 2020," 23 Dec. 2020 Hill had a career-high five tacklers and his fist two career interceptions on Friday and is just the third player with two interceptions in Pac-12 championship game history. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon’s Jamal Hill, Kayvon Thibodeaux recognized for play in Pac-12 championship game," 21 Dec. 2020 Patrick grabbed her by her collar, picked her off the ground, and slammed her against the wall, twisting the fabric of her shirt and pressing his fist into her neck. Justine Van Der Leun, The New Republic, "“No Choice but to Do It”: Why Women Go to Prison," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Players must limit interactions to fist and elbow bumps. Rod Walker,, "Walker: NBA should press pause button to get a handle on current coronavirus-related issues," 12 Jan. 2021 The government’s economic stimulus measures have been similarly ham-fisted. The Economist, "Unscathed but scathing Japan is not rallying around its prime minister," 23 May 2020 Not even if your girlfriend is getting fisted on the regular or impaled by a dozen swarthy men brandishing wine bottles. Anna Pulley,, "Ask Anna: Should I have sex with a woman when I’m happy with my boyfriend?," 14 Oct. 2019 The shah, Washington’s closest ally in the Persian Gulf, had fled Tehran in January 1979 in the face of a burgeoning uprising against his 38 years of iron-fisted rule. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "How Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.," 29 Dec. 2019 But the film is too clumsy and ham-fisted by half to bring much authenticity or wit to the measure of these women's experiences. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 13 Dec. 2019 Predictably, the script’s attempts to nail down these characterizations are almost uniformly ham-fisted, a flaw that appears to have occurred to no one who participated in its composition or filming. Graham Hillard, National Review, "Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd," 7 Dec. 2019 Then, the man in the red shirt and another man begin to fist fight. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, "Anaheim police investigating viral video of violent Disneyland brawl," 8 July 2019 After completing a great ride or an advanced trick, the athlete will fist-pump, or point a cocky finger, or do some version of a touchdown boogie. Jamie Brisick, The New Yorker, "Surfing in the Age of the Omnipresent Camera," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fist


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fist


Middle English, from Old English fȳst; akin to Old High German fūst fist, Polish pięść, and probably to Old English fīf five

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Time Traveler for fist

Time Traveler

The first known use of fist was before the 12th century

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Statistics for fist

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fist


How to pronounce fist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fist

: the hand with its fingers bent down into the palm


\ ˈfist How to pronounce fist (audio) \

Kids Definition of fist

: the hand with the fingers bent tight into the palm


\ ˈfist How to pronounce fist (audio) \

Medical Definition of fist

: the hand clenched with the fingers doubled into the palm and the thumb doubled inward across the fingers

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Comments on fist

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