digit

noun

dig·​it ˈdi-jət How to pronounce digit (audio)
1
a
: any of the Arabic numerals 1 to 9 and usually the symbol 0
b
: one of the elements that combine to form numbers in a system other than the decimal system
c
digits plural, slang : the digits of a telephone number
At the end of the meal, the pair discussed wanting to see the Dupont Underground art exhibit, and that's when Scott smoothly asked for her digits and said they should go.Vijai Nathan
2
: a unit of length based on the breadth of a finger and equal in English measure to 3/4 inch
3
: any of the divisions in which the limbs of most vertebrates terminate, which are typically five in number but may be reduced (as in the horse), and which typically have a series of phalanges bearing a nail, claw, or hoof at the tip compare finger sense 1, toe sense 1a

Example Sentences

a three-digit number like 507 She suffered several broken digits.
Recent Examples on the Web Working capital to grow the business is becoming more expensive, as many small-business loans have reached double-digit interest rates. Matias Recchia, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 Three of the four games that followed the late December trip to Starkville ended with single-digit turnovers and Alabama won those by an average of 29.3 points. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 27 Jan. 2023 The last-place Roadrunners (7-15, 1-10 Conference USA), entering as a nearly 20-point underdog with leading scorer Japhet Medor out due to injury, kept a single-digit margin throughout against the second-place Mean Green (17-5, 8-3). Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Jan. 2023 Alaska, Frontier and Spirit airlines also had double-digit flight cancellation rates in late December. Dallas News, 19 Jan. 2023 Alex’s story is a cautionary tale as families confront the college admissions landscape of 2023, with its single-digit acceptance rates and shifting enrollment priorities. Town & Country, 18 Jan. 2023 In fact, Phoenix led the nation in double-digit inflation rates for several months. AZCentral.com, 8 Jan. 2023 Flirting with single-digit take rates will do that. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, 19 Dec. 2022 Consumer prices are rising at double-digit rates across the continent and the United Kingdom. Paul Wiseman, Fortune, 15 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, "whole number less than ten, Arabic figure used to represent it," borrowed from Latin digitus "finger, toe, finger's breadth as a measure" (Medieval Latin also "whole number less than ten"), of uncertain origin

Note: The Latin word digitus has long been associated with the base *deik-evident in dīcere "to talk, speak" and related words descended from Indo-European *dei̯ḱ- "show, point out" (see diction), though explanations for the voicing of the velar stop, as remote assimilation or dissimilation, are difficult to sustain. Ernout and Meillet (Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine) suggest a connection with a root *dei̯g-, taken to be a variant of *dei̯ḱ- and reflected in Gothic taikns "sign," etc. (see token entry 1, teach), but more recent thinking (as G. Kroonen, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic) trace the Germanic etymon directly to *dei̯ḱ-. Digitus hence remains without a certain etymology. Compare dactyl, toe entry 1.

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of digit was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near digit

Cite this Entry

“Digit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/digit. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

digit

noun
dig·​it ˈdij-ət How to pronounce digit (audio)
1
a
: any of the Arabic numerals 1 to 9 and usually the symbol 0
b
: one of the elements that are used to form numbers in a system other than the decimal system
2
: a finger or toe

Medical Definition

digit

noun
dig·​it ˈdij-ət How to pronounce digit (audio)
: any of the divisions (as a finger or toe) in which the limbs of amphibians and all higher vertebrates including humans terminate, which are typically five in number but may be reduced (as in the horse), and which typically have a series of phalanges bearing a nail, claw, or hoof at the tip

More from Merriam-Webster on digit

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