Meaning of FINGER in English


I. fin ‧ ger 1 S2 W2 /ˈfɪŋɡə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ]

1 . PART OF YOUR HAND one of the four long thin parts on your hand, not including your thumb:

The woman had a ring on her finger, so I assumed she was married.

We ate with our fingers.

run your fingers through/over/along etc something

She ran her fingers through his hair.

⇨ ↑ index finger , ↑ little finger , ↑ forefinger , ↑ middle finger , ↑ ring finger

2 . cross your fingers

a) to hope that something will happen the way you want:

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that she’s going to be OK.

b) to secretly put one finger over another finger, because you are telling a lie – done especially by children:

‘He’s nice,’ said Laura, crossing her fingers under the table.

3 . not lift/raise a finger to not make any effort to help someone with their work:

I do all the work around the house – Frank never lifts a finger.

4 . put your finger on something to know or be able to explain exactly what is wrong, different, or unusual about a situation:

There was something about the man that worried Wycliffe, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

5 . not lay a finger on somebody to not hurt someone at all, especially to not hit them:

Don’t lay a finger on me, or I’ll call the police!

6 . have/keep your finger on the pulse (of something) to always know about the most recent changes or developments in a particular situation or activity:

people who have their finger on the pulse of fashion and pop culture

7 . have a finger in every pie/ in many pies to be involved in many activities and to have influence over a lot of people, used especially when you think someone has too much influence

8 . twist/wrap/wind somebody around your little finger to be able to persuade someone to do anything that you want:

Ed could wrap his mother around his little finger.

9 . the finger of blame/suspicion :

The finger of suspicion immediately fell on Broderick.

10 . OF A GLOVE the part of a ↑ glove that covers your finger

11 . SHAPED LIKE A FINGER anything that is long and thin, like the shape of a finger, especially a piece of land, an area of water, or a piece of food:

fish fingers

chocolate fingers

finger of

the long finger of Chile

12 . pull/get your finger out British English informal used to tell someone to work harder

13 . put two fingers up at somebody British English informal to show someone you are angry with them in a very offensive way by holding up your first two fingers with the back of your hand facing them

14 . give somebody the finger American English informal to show someone you are angry with them in a very offensive way by holding up your middle finger with the back of your hand facing them

15 . be all fingers and thumbs British English to use your hands in an awkward or careless way, so that you drop or break things

16 . long-fingered/slim-fingered etc having long fingers, slim fingers etc:

lovely long-fingered hands

17 . DRINK an amount of an alcoholic drink that is as high in the glass as the width of someone’s finger:

two fingers of whiskey

⇨ ↑ butterfingers , ↑ fish finger , ⇨ have your hands/fingers in the till at ↑ till 2 (3), ⇨ count something on the fingers of one hand at ↑ count 1 (7), ⇨ have green fingers at ↑ green 1 (10), ⇨ burn your fingers/get your fingers burnt at ↑ burn 1 (16), ⇨ point the/a finger at somebody at ↑ point 2 (9), ⇨ let something slip through your fingers at ↑ slip 1 (15), ⇨ snap your fingers at ↑ snap 1 (7), ⇨ have sticky fingers at ↑ sticky (6), ⇨ work your fingers to the bone at ↑ work 1 (29)

II. finger 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

1 . to touch or handle something with your fingers:

She fingered the beautiful cloth.

2 . informal if someone, especially a criminal, fingers another criminal, they tell the police what that person has done

• • •


▪ touch to put your fingers or hand onto someone or something for a very short time:

Don’t touch the iron – it’s hot!

▪ feel to touch something with your fingers in order to find out about it:

Feel how soft this material is.


I felt his forehead. It was cold.

▪ handle to touch something and pick it up and hold it in your hands:

Children should always wash their hands before handling food.


The glass was very fragile, and she handled it with great care.


Please do not handle the merchandise.

▪ finger to touch or handle something with your fingers, especially while you are thinking of other things:

She fingered the heavy necklace around her neck.

▪ rub to move your hand over a surface while pressing it:

Bob rubbed his eyes and yawned.

▪ scratch to rub part of your body with your nails, often because it ITCHES :

The dog kept scratching its ear.


Bob scratched his head thoughtfully.

▪ tickle to move your fingers lightly over someone’s body in order to make them laugh:

The baby giggled as I tickled him.

▪ grope to touch someone’s body in a sexual way when they do not want to be touched:

The officer was accused of groping several women in his platoon.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.