from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of the five digits of the hand, especially one other than the thumb.
  • noun The part of a glove designed to cover a finger.
  • noun Something, such as an oblong peninsula, that resembles one of the digits of the hand.
  • noun The length or width of a finger.
  • noun A degree of participation; a share.
  • noun An obscene gesture of defiance or derision made by pointing or jabbing the middle finger upward. Often used with the.
  • intransitive verb To touch with the fingers; handle. synonym: touch.
  • intransitive verb To mark (a score) with indications of which fingers are to play the notes.
  • intransitive verb To play (an instrument) by using the fingers in a particular order or way.
  • intransitive verb To identify as responsible for wrongdoing or a crime, especially to the police.
  • intransitive verb To identify or designate as being responsible.
  • intransitive verb Vulgar Slang To insert one or more fingers into the anus or vagina of (a person) as a means of sexual stimulation.
  • intransitive verb To handle something with the fingers.
  • intransitive verb Music To use the fingers in playing an instrument.
  • idiom (have/keep) To hope for a successful or advantageous outcome.
  • idiom (lay (one's)/a) To locate; find.
  • idiom (put (one's) finger on) To remember; recall.
  • idiom (twist/wrap) To dominate utterly and effortlessly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To touch with the fingers; handle: as, to finger money.
  • To toy or meddle with.
  • To touch or take thievishly; pilfer; filch; secure by manipulation with the fingers.
  • In music: To play, as an instrument requiring the use of individual fingers.
  • To play, as a particular passage involving a choice among different possible modes of execution.
  • To do or perform with the fingers, as a delicate piece of work, etc.
  • To touch something with the fingers, as a musical instrument in playing it.
  • noun A digit of the fore limb; any one of the terminal or distal members of the hand; in a restricted sense, any digit of the hand except the innermost or thumb.
  • noun Something like or likened to a finger, as a ray of a starfish; something resembling or serving the purpose of a finger; an index.
  • noun Specifically— In zoology, one of the two parts forming a chelate or forceps-joint, especially the smaller part, which hinges on the other.
  • noun In machinery, any small wood or metal projection on a machine, for parting materials or arresting motion, as the tooth of a rake, the gripper in printing-presses, or the wires of a stop-motion: as, the fingers of a harvester, in and between which the knives play.
  • noun A measure of length, a finger-breadth, commonly a natural finger-breadth.
  • noun A finger's length, commonly that of the middle finger.
  • noun In music, execution, especially on a keyed instrument; method of fingering: as, she has a good finger.
  • noun In a mechanical piano-player, a lever that strikes or depresses a key. See piano-player.
  • noun A projecting pin or rod, straight, or slightly curved; specifically, a projecting curved wire which carries an electric current into the clearance-volume of an internal-combustion motor, so that at the proper time a spark may pass between its tip and another terminal and fire the charge of explosive mixture. See internal-combustion engine, under engine.
  • noun In flax manuf., a small lot of fiber that has been treated at one operation in the scutching process.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One of the five terminating members of the hand; a digit; esp., one of the four extremities of the hand, other than the thumb.
  • noun (Mech.) Anything that does the work of a finger; as, the pointer of a clock, watch, or other registering machine
  • noun The breadth of a finger, or the fourth part of the hand; a measure of nearly an inch; also, the length of finger, a measure in domestic use in the United States, of about four and a half inches or one eighth of a yard.
  • noun rare Skill in the use of the fingers, as in playing upon a musical instrument.
  • noun the little finger.
  • noun See Dactylology.
  • noun the horizontal bar, carrying slotted spikes, or fingers, through which the vibratory knives of mowing and reaping machines play.
  • noun (Mus.) the part of a stringed instrument against which the fingers press the strings to vary the tone; the keyboard of a piano, organ, etc.; manual.
  • noun a bowl or glass to hold water for rinsing the fingers at table.
  • noun (Bot.) the foxglove.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of grass (Panicum sanguinale) with slender radiating spikes; common crab grass. See Crab grass, under Crab.
  • noun a fly nut or thumb nut.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English finger, from Old English finger ("finger"), from Proto-Germanic *fingraz (“finger”) (compare West Frisian finger, Low German/German Finger, Dutch vinger, Danish finger), from Proto-Indo-European *pénkʷrós, *penkʷ-ros 'fifth' (compare Old Irish cóicer 'set of five people', Old Armenian հինգեր-որդ (hinger-ord, "fifth")), from *pénkʷe (“five”). More at five.


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  • A unit of measure equivalent to 0.875 inch, named for the breadth of a finger.

    November 7, 2007

  • My finger is only 0.67" :(

    November 7, 2007

  • What? You only have 76% of a finger on your finger!

    November 7, 2007

  • Oops, I measured along the wrong part! They're still not quite a finger wide though...

    November 7, 2007

  •'d you know what the right part was? Just asking.

    November 7, 2007

  • The right part is the middle-joint which is a tad thicker. According to wikipedia.

    November 7, 2007

  • Aha! That's what I thought it was. Thanks!

    November 8, 2007

  • Also, a unix command to get information about someone.

    November 8, 2007

  • They call 'em fingers, but you never see 'em fing. ...Whoah, there they go.

    February 23, 2009

  • Usage here.

    June 19, 2009

  • the word of God, rod or staff

    July 22, 2009