Definition of finger noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfɪŋɡə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɪŋɡər//
    Body parts, Hands and nails
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  1. 1   one of the four long thin parts that stick out from the hand (or five, if the thumb is included) She ran her fingers through her hair. Hold the material between finger and thumb. He was about to speak but she raised a finger to her lips. The old man wagged his finger at the youths. CollocationsPhysical appearance A person may be described as having:Eyes (bright) blue/​green/(dark/​light) brown/​hazel eyes deep-set/​sunken/​bulging/​protruding eyes small/​beady/​sparkling/​twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes piercing/​penetrating/​steely eyes bloodshot/​watery/​puffy eyes bushy/​thick/​dark/​raised/​arched eyebrows long/​dark/​thick/​curly/​false eyelashes/​lashesFace a flat/​bulbous/​pointed/​sharp/​snub nose a straight/​a hooked/​a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose full/​thick/​thin/​pouty lips dry/​chapped/​cracked lips flushed/​rosy/​red/​ruddy/​pale cheeks soft/​chubby/​sunken cheeks white/​perfect/​crooked/​protruding teeth a large/​high/​broad/​wide/​sloping forehead a strong/​weak/​pointed/​double chin a long/​full/​bushy/​wispy/​goatee beard a long/​thin/​bushy/​droopy/​handlebar/​pencil moustache/ (especially US English) mustacheHair and skin pale/​fair/​olive/​dark/​tanned skin dry/​oily/​smooth/​rough/​leathery/​wrinkled skin a dark/​pale/​light/​sallow/​ruddy/​olive/​swarthy/​clear complexion deep/​fine/​little/​facial wrinkles blonde/​blond/​fair/(light/​dark) brown/(jet-)black/​auburn/​red/(British English) ginger/​grey hair straight/​curly/​wavy/​frizzy/​spiky hair thick/​thin/​fine/​bushy/​thinning hair dyed/​bleached/​soft/​silky/​dry/​greasy/​shiny hair long/​short/​shoulder-length/​cropped hair a bald/​balding/​shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/​spot a side/​centre/(US English) center (British English) parting/ (North American English) partBody a long/​short/​thick/​slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck broad/​narrow/​sloping/​rounded/​hunched shoulders a bare/​broad/​muscular/​small/​large chest a flat/​swollen/​bulging stomach a small/​tiny/​narrow/​slim/​slender/28-inch waist big/​wide/​narrow/​slim hips a straight/​bent/​arched/​broad/​hairy back thin/​slender/​muscular arms big/​large/​small/​manicured/​calloused/​gloved hands long/​short/​fat/​slender/​delicate/​bony fingers long/​muscular/​hairy/​shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/​spindly legs muscular/​chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs big/​little/​small/​dainty/​wide/​narrow/​bare feet a good/​a slim/​a slender/​an hourglass figure be of slim/​medium/​average/​large/​athletic/​stocky build see also butterfingers, forefinger, green fingers, index finger, little finger, middle finger, ring finger See related entries: Body parts, Hands and nails
  2. 2-fingered (in adjectives) having the type of fingers mentioned; having or using the number of fingers mentioned long-fingered nimble-fingered a four-fingered chord see also light-fingered More Like This Compound adjectives for physical characteristics -beaked, -bellied, -billed, -blooded, -bodied, -cheeked, -chested, -eared, -eyed, -faced, -fingered, -footed, -haired, -handed, -headed, -hearted, -hipped, -lidded, -limbed, -mouthed, -necked, -nosed, -skinned, -tailed, -throated, -toothedSee worksheet.
  3. 3the part of a glove that covers the finger
  4. 4finger (of something) a long narrow piece of bread, cake, land, etc. a finger of toast chocolate fingers a narrow finger of land pointing out into the sea see also fish finger
  5. Word OriginOld English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vinger and German Finger.Extra examples ‘None of that!’ cried the teacher, wagging her finger. Although she knew lots of people, she could count her friends on the fingers of one hand. Dad started twiddling his fingers nervously. Everyone put their fingers in their ears when the shooting started. He crooked a finger to tell us to go over to him. He gently laced his fingers between mine. He held up his hand with the fingers extended. He snapped his fingers and the waiter came running. He was drumming his fingers nervously on the arm of the chair. Her nimble fingers undid the knot in seconds. His clumsy fingers struggled with the buttons. I dipped my finger in the sauce and licked it. I noticed the ring on the third finger of her left hand. I stubbed my finger painfully while reaching for a book. It’s easiest to eat chicken legs with your fingers. Sally trailed her fingers in the water idly. She hooked her fingers in the belt loop of his jeans. She raised a finger to her lips to ask for silence. She ran her finger along the dusty shelf. She took off his bandages with gentle fingers. The child needed treatment after trapping her finger in the car door. The enquiry pointed the finger of blame at the driver of the crashed coach. The finger of suspicion was pointed at the chicken served for lunch. The man drew a finger across his throat in a threatening gesture. The nurse pricked my finger to get some blood. The ornaments had been put out of reach of the children’s prying fingers. The protester was jabbing a finger aggressively at a policeman. The teacher raised a warning finger and we stopped talking. Tina curled her slender fingers into a fist. We were swaying and clicking our fingers in time to the music.Idioms
    be able to count somebody/something on (the fingers of) one hand
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    used to say that the total number of somebody/something is very small She could count on the fingers of one hand the people she actually enjoyed being with.
    be all (fingers and) thumbs
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    to be awkward with your hands so that you drop things or are unable to do something
    burn your fingers, get your fingers burnt
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    to suffer as a result of doing something without realizing the possible bad results, especially in business He got his fingers badly burnt dabbling in the stock market.
    to hope that your plans will be successful (sometimes putting one finger across another as a sign of hoping for good luck) I'm crossing my fingers that my proposal will be accepted. Keep your fingers crossed! (informal) used to refer to an estimate or method of doing something that is not very accurate or scientific and partly based on guessing It isn’t an exact science—it’s a kind of finger in the air thing. ‘It’s all a bit finger in the air,’ admitted a spokesman.
    the finger of suspicion
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    if the finger of suspicion points or is pointed at somebody, they are suspected of having committed a crime, being responsible for something, etc.
    get, pull, etc. your finger out
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    (British English, informal) used to tell somebody to start doing some work or making an effort You're going to have to pull your finger out if you want to pass this exam.
    give somebody the finger
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    (especially North American English, informal) to raise your middle finger in the air with the back part of your hand facing somebody, done to be rude to somebody or to show them that you are angry
    have a finger in every pie
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    (informal) to be involved in a lot of different activities and have influence over them, especially when other people think that this is annoying
    have/keep your finger on the pulse (of something)
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    to always be aware of the most recent developments in a particular situation
    have, etc. your fingers in the till
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    (British English, informal) to be stealing money from the place where you work
    (informal) to be likely to steal something
    lay a finger on somebody
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    (usually used in negative sentences) to touch somebody with the intention of hurting them physically I never laid a finger on her. If you lay a finger on me, I’ll call the police.
    let something slip (through your fingers)
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    to miss or fail to use an opportunity Don't let the chance to work abroad slip through your fingers.
    not lift/raise a finger/hand (to do something)
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    (informal) to do nothing to help somebody The children never lift a finger to help around the house.
    not put your finger on something
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    to not be able to identify what is wrong or different about a particular situation There was something odd about him but I couldn't put my finger on it.
    point a/the finger (at somebody)
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    to accuse somebody of doing something The article points an accusing finger at the authorities.
    put/stick two fingers up at somebody
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    (British English, informal) to form the shape of a V with the two fingers nearest your thumb and raise your hand in the air with the back part of it facing somebody, done to be rude to them or to show them that you are angry see also V-sign She enjoys sticking two fingers up to convention.
    to make a sharp noise by moving your second or third finger quickly against your thumb, to attract somebody’s attention, or to mark the beat of music, for example He snapped his fingers for the waiter to bring more wine.
    work your fingers to the bone
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    to work very hard
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: finger