\ 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 When the last mirrors locked in place, the team at mission control broke into applause and a flurry of high-fives and fist bumps. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 9 Jan. 2022 James swung his left forearm with force and struck Stewart in the face with his fist, causing significant bleeding near Stewart’s right eye. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 22 Nov. 2021 Self-loathing, and anger, and all of those highs and lows — of rage and putting my fist through a wall. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 29 Oct. 2021 Instead, his fist smashes straight through Colin’s extremely-deceased skull. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 29 Oct. 2021 The former president is still shaking his fist at reality from his Mar-A-Lago redoubt? Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 28 Oct. 2021 Koerri Washington, a local livestreamer who followed the demonstrations through the streets that night, also filmed a Black man walking alongside a loose column of marchers with an assault-style rifle, raising his fist. New York Times, 25 Oct. 2021 One of his attorneys held his fist up to the witness room glass in an apparent sign of support. CBS News, 22 Oct. 2021 Prosecutors said Mehaffie approached a set of double doors to the Capitol and began pounding his fist on the unbroken glass. John Caniglia, cleveland, 30 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Then, once on the court, players are outlawed from high-fives, relegated instead to fist or elbow bumps. Scott Kushner,, 13 Jan. 2021 Players must limit interactions to fist and elbow bumps. Rod Walker,, 12 Jan. 2021 The government’s economic stimulus measures have been similarly ham-fisted. The Economist, 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,, 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, 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, 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, 7 Dec. 2019 Then, the man in the red shirt and another man begin to fist fight. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 8 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near fist



fist bump

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Statistics for fist

Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on fist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fist

Nglish: Translation of fist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fist for Arabic Speakers


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