- 1[intransitive, transitive] to make a signal with your thumb to passing drivers to ask them to stop and take you somewhere + adv./prep. He had thumbed all across Europe. (British English) thumb a lift We managed to thumb a lift with a lorry driver. (North American English) thumb a ride We managed to thumb a ride with a truck driver.
- 2[transitive] thumb something (+ adv./prep.) to touch or move something with your thumb She thumbed off the safety catch of her pistol. see also well thumbed Word Origin Old English thūma, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch duim and German Daumen, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin tumere
BrE BrE//θʌm//; NAmE NAmE//θʌm//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they thumb
BrE BrE//θʌm//; NAmE NAmE//θʌm//he / she / it thumbs
BrE BrE//θʌmz//; NAmE NAmE//θʌmz//past simple thumbed
BrE BrE//θʌmd//; NAmE NAmE//θʌmd//past participle thumbed
BrE BrE//θʌmd//; NAmE NAmE//θʌmd//-ing form thumbing
BrE BrE//ˈθʌmɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈθʌmɪŋ//