a mark made by the pattern of lines on the tip of a person’s finger, often used by the police to identify criminals His fingerprints were all over the gun. to take a suspect’s fingerprints The car was examined for fingerprints. Synonymsmarkstain fingerprint streak speck blot smear spotThese are all words for a small area of dirt or another substance on a surface.mark a small area of dirt or other substance on the surface of something, especially one that spoils its appearance:The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor.stain a dirty mark on something that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a liquid:blood stainsfingerprint a mark on a surface made by the pattern of lines on the end of a person’s finger, often used by the police to identify criminals:Her fingerprints were all over the gun.streak a long thin mark or line that is a different colour from the surface it is on:She had streaks of grey in her hair.speck a very small mark, spot or piece of a substance on something:There isn’t a speck of dust anywhere in the house.blot a spot or dirty mark left on something by a substance such as ink or paint being dropped on a surfacesmear a mark made by something such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surfacespot a small dirty mark on something:There were grease spots all over the walls.Patterns a streak/speck/blot/smear/spot of something a greasy mark/stain/smear an ink mark/stain/blot/spot a grease mark/stain/spot to leave a mark/stain/fingerprint/streak/speck/blot/smear see also genetic fingerprint See related entries: Solving crimeExtra examples She was careful not to leave any fingerprints. The car is being examined for fingerprints. The investigator questioned him and took his fingerprints. The police were able to obtain a set of fingerprints from the suspect. The suspect’s fingerprints have been matched with those found at the scene of the crime. She checked the room for fingerprints. She had left an almost perfect set of fingerprints. The fingerprints matched those of the suspect. The police took their fingerprints. They examined the window for fingerprints. We’ll need to dust the premises for fingerprints.