\ 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 That means doing something less damaging and more socially acceptable with one's hands, like making a fist and holding it, or squeezing a stress ball. Starre Vartan, CNN, "Why picking your nose isn't just gross — it's dangerous in the time of coronavirus," 28 Dec. 2020 The San Joaquin Valley is an emerald gash shaped like a fist in the middle of the state. James Ross Gardner, The New Yorker, "As the Vaccine Arrives, Death and Denial Rage in a California Coronavirus Epicenter," 22 Dec. 2020 At the 2019 Pan Am Games, hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a fist in protest and fencer Race Imboden knelt. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Team USA Backs Allowing Athlete Protests at Olympics," 10 Dec. 2020 One night during a quiet dinner, a fist pounded on their door. Washington Post, "A lesbian couple who scattered ‘butterflies’ to undermine the Nazis," 4 Dec. 2020 While standard liners take their gripping cues from writing or painting implements, the tapered handle and rounded grip on Bryant’s wand mean it can be grasped upright in a fist. Rachel Feltman And Jordan Blok, Popular Science, "The 10 most exceptional personal care products from 2020," 4 Dec. 2020 Keegan claimed Ellison hit him in the face with a fist several times, according to the affidavit. oregonlive, "FBI helping investigate killing of Black man in Ashland hotel parking lot," 3 Dec. 2020 The University of Illinois' football team has changed their helmets to include messages of social justice and a black fist, the school announced on Thursday. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "University of Illinois' football team will include a black fist and social justice messages on helmets," 22 Oct. 2020 The rendering of a white fist holding a lightning bolt drew criticism over the summer from community members who view it as a racist symbol of white power. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Berea school board president clarifies status of fist logo," 25 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 With the runners going on a full-count pitch, Alonso then fisted a grounder up the middle to drive in Lagares and Altherr for a 3-1 lead. Kollin Miller,, "Mets beat Royals 4-1 behind deGrom, Alonso," 18 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

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 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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