• (America) enPR: fĭngʹ-gər, IPA: /ˈfɪŋɡɚ/
  • (British) IPA: /ˈfɪŋɡə/
  • (Scots) IPA: /ˈfɪŋəɹ/

finger (plural fingers)

  1. (anatomy) A slender jointed extremity of the human hand, (often) exclusive of the thumb.
    Humans have two hands and ten fingers. Each hand has one thumb and four fingers.
    • 1916, The Finger Talk of Chicago's Wheat-Pit, Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 89, p. 81:
      Each finger extended represents one-eighth of a cent. Thus when all four fingers and the thumb are extended, all being spread out from one another, it means five-eighths.
  2. (zoology) Similar or similar-looking extremities in other animals, particularly:
    • 1915, Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson, The How and Why Library, Life, Section VIII,
      The starfish eats with five fingers.
    1. The lower, smaller segment of an arthropod claw.
    2. One of the supporting structures of wings in birds, bats, etc. evolved from earlier toes or fingers.
    3. One of the slender bony structures before the pectoral fins of gurnards and sea robins (Triglidae).
  3. Something similar in shape to the human finger, particularly:
    • 1814, William Wordsworth, The Excursion, p. 250:
      ...spires whose ‘silent finger points to Heaven’...
    1. (cuisine) Finger-shaped pieces of food.
      chocolate fingers; fish fingers; cheese fingers
      • 2014, Laurie David, The Family Cooks
        By now, we hope you have said “no” to processed nuggets and fingers. Instead, how about taking some real chicken, tossing it with real eggs, a little tangy mustard, and a crunchy quinoa coating?
    2. (chemistry) A tube extending from a sealed system, or sometimes into one in the case of a cold finger.
      • 1996, Susan Trumbore, Mass Spectrometry of Soils, p. 318:
        An oven is placed over the finger with Co catalyst (oven temperature will depend on whether a quartz or Pyrex finger is used, see Ref. 24), and a cold finger (usually a copper rod immersed in dry ice–isopropanol slurry) is placed on the other tube.
    3. (UK regional, botany, usually in plural, obsolete) Synonym of foxglove#English|foxglove (D. purpurea).
  4. Something similarly extending, (especially) from a larger body, particularly:
    a finger of land; a finger of smoke
    1. (botany) Various protruding plant structures, as a banana from its hand.
    2. (anatomy, obsolete) A lobe of the liver.
    3. (historical) The teeth parallel to the blade of a scythe, fitted to a wooden frame called a crade.
    4. The projections of a reaper or mower which similarly separate the stalks for cutting.
    5. (nautical) Clipping of finger pier: a shorter, narrower pier projecting from a larger dock.
    6. (aviation) Synonym of jet bridge#English|jet bridge: the narrow elevated walkway connecting a plane to an airport.
  5. Something similar in function or agency to the human finger, (usually) with regard to touching, grasping, or pointing.
    • 1611, Bible (KJV), Exodus 8:19:
      The Magicians said vnto Pharaoh; This is the finger of God.
    1. (obsolete) Synonym of hand#English|hand, the part of a clock pointing to the hour, minute, or second.
    2. (US, obsolete slang) A policeman or prison guard.
    3. (US, rare slang) An informer to the police, (especially) one who identifies a criminal during a lineup.
    4. (US, rare slang) A criminal who scouts for prospective victims and targets or who performs reconnaissance before a crime.
    5. (figurative) That which points; an indicator, as of guilt, blame, or suspicion.
      The finger of suspicion pointed clearly at the hotel manager.
  6. (units of measure) Various units of measure based or notionally based on the adult human finger, particularly
    1. (historical) Synonym of digit#English|digit: former units of measure notionally based on its width but variously standardized, (especially) the English digit of fracfoot (about 1.9 cm).
      • a piece of steel three fingers thick
    2. (historical) A unit of length notionally based on the length of an adult human's middle finger, standardized as 4½ inches (11.43 cm).
    3. (historical) Synonym of digit#English|digit: frac 1 the observed diameter of the sun or moon, (especially) with regard to eclipses.
    4. (originally US) An informal measure of alcohol based on its height in a given glass compared to the width of the pourer's fingers while holding it.
      Gimme three fingers of bourbon.
  7. (fashion) A part of a glove intended to cover a finger.
  8. (informal, obsolete) Skill in the use of the fingers, as in playing upon a musical instrument.
    • She has a good finger.
  9. (informal, rare) Someone skilled in the use of their fingers, (especially) a pickpocket.
  10. (UK slang) A person.
  11. (especially in the phrase 'give someone the finger') An obscene or insulting gesture made by raising one's middle finger towards someone with the palm of one's hand facing inwards.
Synonyms Verb

finger (fingers, present participle fingering; past and past participle fingered)

  1. (transitive) To identify or point out. Also put the finger on. To report to or identify for the authorities, rat on, rat out, squeal on, tattle on, turn in.
  2. (transitive) To poke, probe, feel, or fondle with a finger or fingers.
  3. (transitive) To use the fingers to penetrate and sexually stimulate one's own or another person's vagina or anus; to fingerbang
    • 2008, Thomas Wainwright (editor), Erotic Tales, page 56:
      She smiled, a look of amazement on her face, as if thinking that maybe this was the cock that she had been fantasizing about just now, as she fingered herself to a massive, body-engulfing orgasm.
  4. (transitive, music) To use specified finger positions in producing notes on a musical instrument.
  5. (transitive, music) To provide instructions in written music as to which fingers are to be used to produce particular notes or passages.
  6. (transitive, computing) To query (a user's status) using the Finger protocol.
    • 1996, "Yves Bellefeuille", List of useful freeware, comp.archives.msdos.d, Usenet:
      PGP mail welcome (finger me for my key).
  7. (obsolete) To steal; to purloin.
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To execute, as any delicate work.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. A city in Tennessee.

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