Meaning of FINGER in English


I. ˈfiŋgə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fingar finger, Old Norse fingr, Gothic fingrs, and perhaps to Old English fīf five — more at five

1. : one of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb ; specifically : one of the four extremities of the hand other than the thumb


a. : something that resembles or does the work of a finger

a finger of toast

a finger of land extending into the sea

the finger of a clock

b. : a part of a glove into which a finger is inserted

c. : one of the bananas or plantains in a hand

d. : a vegetable drug cut or compressed into the size and shape of a finger

a finger of rhubarb

e. : a projecting rod, wire, or piece (as a pawl for a ratchet) that is brought into contact with an object to effect, direct, or restrain a motion


a. : fingerbreadth

b. : an amount of liquor equal to the quantity in a glass filled up to one fingerbreadth


a. : concern , interest , part , share

he seems always to have a finger in some magisterial affair — V.L.Parrington

— often used in the phrase to have a finger in the pie

has a finger in every political pie

b. fingers plural : possession

marries the boss's daughter, and gets his fingers on the armament industry — Sherwood Anderson

5. slang : one who keeps tabs on or reports on a person : finger man , informer

first they get a finger on him — J.M.Cain

- lift a finger

II. verb

( fingered ; fingered ; fingering -ŋg(ə)riŋ ; fingers )

Etymology: Middle English fingeren, from finger, n.

transitive verb

1. : to touch or feel with the fingers : toy with : handle

eyeing her … as a broker buys a diamond … as a country woman fingers a bolt of tweed — Francis Hackett

fingered his scraggy chin before he answered — C.G.D.Roberts

fingered his heavy underlip as if probing it for a cold sore — Kenneth Roberts

2. obsolete : steal , pilfer , purloin


a. : to play (a musical instrument) with the fingers

b. : to play with a specific fingering

c. : to mark the notes of (a music score) as a guide in playing

4. : to extend into or penetrate in the shape of a finger

the long beams of the searchlights fingering the sky — R.H.Newman

new roads fingering once trackless plains

5. : to point out : identify , indicate , designate

far be it from me to finger any individual to be blasted by the presidential wrath — G.W.Johnson

the man he fingered for the mayor's job was an old-time politician

practically all of them had been fingered by the more reliable ex-Communists — Elmer Davis


a. : to point out, name, or identify to the police especially in a police lineup

she fingered a boy friend … as one of the killers — Lew Arthur

b. : to indicate to a criminal (as the intended victims or the place or object to be robbed)

in those days you merely fingered the victim … and in a few days your enemy's body was discovered in the gutter — Danny Ahearn

sometimes the dock boss … fingers the load to be stolen — Malcolm Johnson

c. slang : to keep tabs on : report on : shadow

we've been fingering him for months — L.A.Norris

intransitive verb

1. : to touch or handle something

the rosaries, the strings of round bells … brought them toward him … snatching and fingering — Marjory S. Douglas


a. : to use the fingers in playing a musical instrument

b. : to have a certain fingering (as of a musical instrument)

it fingers like a cornet

3. : to extend in the shape or manner of a finger

the docks fingered out into the water — R.P.Warren

forests, farms, industries … fingering through great river valleys — Betty F. Martin

searchlights fingered across the black water — Time

III. noun

: bird 2 herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.