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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.
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.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See Also: HAND(S)
- Fingernails … long as stilettos —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Fingernails that were long and curved and looked as tough as horn —Sue Grafton
- Fingers are thin as ice —Marge Piercy
- Fingers brown and hard as wood —Philip Levine
- Fingers cool as gemstones —R. Wright Campbell
- Fingers danced like midgets above a summer stream —O. Henry
- Fingers fluttering … like butterflies —William Goyen
- Fingers fluttering like ribbons —Sharon Sheehe Stark
- Fingers … gnarled, like the roots of trees in an Arthur Rackham drawing —Antonia Fraser
- Fingers … hard and inactive, like the gnarled roots of a dead tree —Frank Swinnerton
- Fingers … like a bundle of broom straw, so thin and dry —Louise Erdrich
- Fingers like long wax candles —Cynthia Ozick
- Fingers like pliers —Donald Seaman
- (The woman’s) fingers rustled like branches against her face —Leigh Allison Wilson
- Fingers spread apart like the talons of a predatory bird —William March
- Fingers spreading out like fans —Pat Conroy
- Fingers tap like a lover’s fondling a girl’s hard little breasts —Babette Deutsch
- Fingers thick as sausages —James Crumley
- Fingers tightly clenched, as if to check an involuntary gesture —Edith Wharton
- Fingers … weighty as sandbags —Frank Conroy
- Fingers were stiff as little darts —M. J. Farrell
- Her fingers moved over his ribs gently as a harpist’s —Ross Macdonald
See Also: SEXUAL INTERACTION
- Knuckles … like a row of little white onions —Roald Dahl
The white onion look is caused by a very hard hand grip.
- (Hands crouched on the table before her, the) knuckles like miniature snow-capped mountains —Marge Piercy
- Knuckles [from gripping a table very hard] shone like white stones —Mary Hedin
- Long fingers arched like grapplehooks —William Carlos Williams
- Long inquisitive fingers thrown out like antennae —Edith Wharton
- Long thin fingers moving like knitting needles —Liam O’Flaherty
- Long thin nails, like splinters —Elizabeth Spencer
- My fingers fidget like ten idle brats —Wilfred Owens
- Opening and closing his fingers like folding and unfolding a fan —George Garrett
- Pointed his finger like a revolver —Charles Johnson
- Put his fingertips together thoughtfully, like a man preparing to pray —Paul Theroux
- Snapping his fingers together like a pair of scissors —Margaret Atwood
- Thumb like the butt of a pistol —Sterling Hayden
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.