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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