opposable thumb

Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

op·pos·a·ble thumb

A thumb that can be placed opposite the fingers of the same hand. Opposable thumbs allow the digits to grasp and handle objects, and are characteristic of primates.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
But a dog, clutched by the neck from the back, can never be a match for two men, gifted with the intelligence and deftness of men, each of them two-handed with four fingers and an opposable thumb to each hand.
One of our fundamental attributes is the opposable thumb. This allows us to make a 'precision grip' between fingers and thumb, as well as the 'power grip' of the grasping hand.
Collections of his work include Opposable Thumb (subpress, 2006), Homework (Lunar Chandelier, 2010), and Idea for a B Movie (Free Scholars Press, 2016).
"Of course, there's a lot more to using your arms and hands than this, but being able to grasp and use your opposable thumb is very valuable," Huskey said.
Sir David explained how the ground-breaking scenes came about accidentally, as he had merely planned to get close to the animals to narrate a piece about the opposable thumb.
Of course we have the opposable thumb, our bipedalism, language, an asteroid, and other lucky twists of fate to thank as well, but imagination may be "the fragile foundation on which human society is built" (Catherine Brahic).
I used an opposable thumb to slow the spinning spool on my baitcaster rig, and plopped a floating Rapala within an inch of a submerged tree.
Second, the hand developed an opposable thumb, which transformed the primate hand into a proto-tool.
I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure.
If the turning point of evolution was the biological miracle of the opposable thumb, it is all you need today to launch a satellite into space.
after all only the opposable thumb a mechanical aid to those who write
In order to create a functional hand, both Wood and Tada advocate the ablation of the hypoplastic digit, creation of three good digits with an opposable thumb as the preferable route in the reconstructive surgery algorithm.