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1. One of the five digits of the hand, especially one other than the thumb.
2. The part of a glove designed to cover a finger.
3. Something, such as an oblong peninsula, that resembles one of the digits of the hand.
4. The length or width of a finger.
5. A degree of participation; a share: "seems almost sure to have a finger or two in crafting the final blueprint" (George B. Merry).
6. An obscene gesture of defiance or derision made by pointing or jabbing the middle finger upward. Often used with the.
v. fin·gered, fin·ger·ing, fin·gers
1. To touch with the fingers; handle. See Synonyms at touch.
2. Music
a. To mark (a score) with indications of which fingers are to play the notes.
b. To play (an instrument) by using the fingers in a particular order or way.
3. Informal
a. To identify as responsible for wrongdoing or a crime, especially to the police: fingered the sales clerk as the thief.
b. To identify or designate as being responsible: "An international team of scientists fingered [the fungus] as the culprit in die-offs of 19 amphibian species" (Science News).
4. Vulgar Slang To insert one or more fingers into the anus or vagina of (a person) as a means of sexual stimulation.
1. To handle something with the fingers.
2. Music To use the fingers in playing an instrument.
have/keep (one's) fingers crossed
To hope for a successful or advantageous outcome.
lay (one's)/a finger on
To locate; find: We haven't been able to lay a finger on those photos.
put (one's) finger on
To remember; recall: I know his name; I just can't put my finger on it.
twist/wrap around (one's) little finger
To dominate utterly and effortlessly.

[Middle English, from Old English; see penkwe in Indo-European roots.]

fin′ger·er n.
fin′ger·less adj.



See Also: HAND(S)

  1. Fingernails … long as stilettos —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  2. Fingernails that were long and curved and looked as tough as horn —Sue Grafton
  3. Fingers are thin as ice —Marge Piercy
  4. Fingers brown and hard as wood —Philip Levine
  5. Fingers cool as gemstones —R. Wright Campbell
  6. Fingers danced like midgets above a summer stream —O. Henry
  7. Fingers fluttering … like butterflies —William Goyen
  8. Fingers fluttering like ribbons —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  9. Fingers … gnarled, like the roots of trees in an Arthur Rackham drawing —Antonia Fraser
  10. Fingers … hard and inactive, like the gnarled roots of a dead tree —Frank Swinnerton
  11. Fingers … like a bundle of broom straw, so thin and dry —Louise Erdrich
  12. Fingers like long wax candles —Cynthia Ozick
  13. Fingers like pliers —Donald Seaman
  14. (The woman’s) fingers rustled like branches against her face —Leigh Allison Wilson
  15. Fingers spread apart like the talons of a predatory bird —William March
  16. Fingers spreading out like fans —Pat Conroy
  17. Fingers tap like a lover’s fondling a girl’s hard little breasts —Babette Deutsch
  18. Fingers thick as sausages —James Crumley
  19. Fingers tightly clenched, as if to check an involuntary gesture —Edith Wharton
  20. Fingers … weighty as sandbags —Frank Conroy
  21. Fingers were stiff as little darts —M. J. Farrell
  22. Her fingers moved over his ribs gently as a harpist’s —Ross Macdonald


  23. Knuckles … like a row of little white onions —Roald Dahl

    The white onion look is caused by a very hard hand grip.

  24. (Hands crouched on the table before her, the) knuckles like miniature snow-capped mountains —Marge Piercy
  25. Knuckles [from gripping a table very hard] shone like white stones —Mary Hedin
  26. Long fingers arched like grapplehooks —William Carlos Williams
  27. Long inquisitive fingers thrown out like antennae —Edith Wharton
  28. Long thin fingers moving like knitting needles —Liam O’Flaherty
  29. Long thin nails, like splinters —Elizabeth Spencer
  30. My fingers fidget like ten idle brats —Wilfred Owens
  31. Opening and closing his fingers like folding and unfolding a fan —George Garrett
  32. Pointed his finger like a revolver —Charles Johnson
  33. Put his fingertips together thoughtfully, like a man preparing to pray —Paul Theroux
  34. Snapping his fingers together like a pair of scissors —Margaret Atwood
  35. Thumb like the butt of a pistol —Sterling Hayden
References in classic literature ?
Quite by accident, of course, some pretty, easy music lay on the piano, and with trembling fingers and frequent stops to listen and look about, Beth at last touched the great instrument, and straightway forgot her fear, herself, and everything else but the unspeakable delight which the music gave her, for it was like the voice of a beloved friend.
The slender expressive fingers, forever active, for- ever striving to conceal themselves in his pockets or behind his back, came forth and became the piston rods of his machinery of expression.
Then there's another kind of bug that burrows under your fingernails, and if you don't get 'em out, your fingers drop off.
The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers.
The delivery of these skillful rhymes was accompanied, on the part of the stranger, by a regular rise and fall of his right hand, which terminated at the descent, by suffering the fingers to dwell a moment on the leaves of the little volume; and on the ascent, by such a flourish of the member as none but the initiated may ever hope to imitate.
The searching look of the eyes, the sharp voice, the hard knotty fingers, the thin straight lips, the long silences, the "front- piece" that didn't match her hair, the very obvious "parting" that seemed sewed in with linen thread on black net,--there was not a single item that appealed to Rebecca.
Estella, pausing a moment in her knitting with her eyes upon me, and then going on, I fancied that I read in the action of her fingers, as plainly as if she had told me in the dumb alphabet, that she perceived I had discovered my real benefactor.
Presently she was beside him again laughing, and holding the ring between her fingers.
His hands were extended and his fingers half-opened--claw-like--to seize her.
The youth's fingers had turned to paste upon the other's arm.
It is not that I do not believe MY fingers as capable as any other woman's of superior execution.
From the time that his little fingers could grasp a penknife, Owen had been remarkable for a delicate ingenuity, which sometimes produced pretty shapes in wood, principally figures of flowers and birds, and sometimes seemed to aim at the hidden mysteries of mechanism.