\ 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


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

The 6-year-olds and Mrs. DeVos bumped fists and exchanged morning greetings, a daily activity meant to teach students to perform small acts of kindness toward each other. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "Betsy DeVos’s School-Safety Panel Hits the Road—and Meets Criticism," 31 May 2018 The girl, who was 6 at the time, was also found with large bruises on her back and stomach, and said her mother struck her with a closed fist. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh,, "Devonte Hart family crash: friend who reported parents pushes for child abuse registry," 13 Apr. 2018 Hope for a last minute deal lingered; at one point, Schumer and Graham bumped fists. Philip Elliott, Time, "How the Government Broke Down," 20 Jan. 2018 After his first homer, Jiménez shot his fist in the air rounding first base and performed an elaborate handshake with fellow youngster Yoan Moncada at home plate. Jake Seiner, The Seattle Times, "Jiménez hits 1st 2 HRs, ChiSox top Yanks in soggy 6+ innings," 12 Apr. 2019 Six-foot-two, handsome, dominant in person, President Bush spoke with those big strong hands, making fists to underscore points. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jon Meacham's Eulogy for George H.W. Bush: Read What the President's Biographer Had to Say," 5 Dec. 2018 Stevie tentatively closed his fist around the red ball of the joystick Saturday and pushed. Tessa Weinberg,, "Northwestern students give 'freedom' by retrofitting motorized cars for kids with disabilities," 1 July 2018 In one moment, Hopkins clenched his fist, his neck tendons went taut and out came all of his frustrations when a missed UNC shot sat tantalizing on the rim. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Huskies’ magic dries up as North Carolina gives UW another early exit from NCAA tournament," 24 Mar. 2019 Set your gaze on your fist, which is where the kettlebell will eventually be. Amy Marturana, SELF, "How to Do a Turkish Get-up," 8 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, the message feels ham-fisted, gimmicky, and flat. Kendra James, Harper's BAZAAR, "Captain Marvel Can't Get By on Girl Power Alone," 9 Mar. 2019 Martínez swung and got jammed, fisting a weak ground ball to first base, ending the game and leaving him with nothing besides the handle of his bat. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Mariano Rivera Elected Unanimously to Baseball Hall of Fame," 22 Jan. 2019 Another Chance for Brazil, but No Score Neymar dribbles it up, launches it into the area, but Navas fists it away. Matthew Futterman And Victor Mather, New York Times, "Brazil Gets Its First Win, a Triumph of Grit More Than Style," 23 June 2018 There’s not a lot the target country can do to stop them, beyond pointing out and ridiculing ham-fisted propaganda. Michael Anton, WSJ, "Why Trump’s Detractors Cry ‘Treason’," 19 July 2018 So far, these playoffs have been a hit, with the league double-fisting Game 7s during the conference finals. Jerry Brewer,, "Cavs-Warriors matchup, the 'Fast and Furious' of the NBA, is a sequel we can't help but watch," 31 May 2018 The Crew failed to capitalize on breakaways, substitute Cristian Martinez faking several times, then failing to shoot (70th), and Zardes’s shot fisted away by Matt Turner (75th). Frank Dell’apa,, "Lalas Abubakar sends Crew past Revolution," 20 May 2018 To be decided in camp ... Fans weren't the only ones ready to fist-bump Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, who's back for a 17th NFL season. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Is a Panthers defensive line with 3 Pro Bowlers and Julius Peppers underappreciated?," 12 July 2018 Morton nodded, briefly sat alone with his thoughts and then got up to fist-bump Kemp. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros pick up messy win over Rangers, clinch series," 10 June 2018

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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Statistics for fist

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fist

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

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More Definitions for fist



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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More from Merriam-Webster on fist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fist

Spanish Central: Translation of fist

Nglish: Translation of fist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fist

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