Meaning of finger

fin•ger

Pronunciation: (fing'gur), [key]
— n.
  1. any of the terminal members of the hand, esp. one other than the thumb.
  2. a part of a glove made to receive a finger.
  3. the breadth of a finger as a unit of measurement; digit.
  4. the length of a finger: approximately 4 in. (11 cm).
  5. an informer or spy.
  6. something like a finger in form or use, as a projection or pointer: a finger of land leading out into the bay; the finger on the speedometer.
  7. any of various projecting parts of machines.
  8. to suffer injury or loss by meddling or by acting rashly: If you get involved in the controversy, you may burn your fingers.
  9. to express contempt for by or as by the obscene gesture of pointing the middle finger upward while folding the other fingers against the palm.
    1. to have an interest or share in something.
    2. to meddle in something.
  10. to wish for good luck or success, as in a specific endeavor: Keep your fingers crossed that I get the job.
  11. I know the name, but I can't put my finger on it.
    1. to indicate exactly; remember:I know the name, but I can't put my finger on it.
    2. to discover; locate:I haven't been able to lay my finger on the book you requested.
  12. to make not even a small attempt; do nothing: The house was falling into ruin, but he wouldn't lift a finger to repair it.
  13. finger (def. 22).
  14. She let the chance of a lifetime slip through her fingers.
    1. to elude one, as an opportunity not taken; escape:She let the chance of a lifetime slip through her fingers.
    2. to pass or be consumed quickly:Money just slips through his fingers.
  15. to exhibit disdain or contempt (for): She snaps her fingers at the local gossip.
  16. to exert one's influence easily or successfully upon: He has a remarkable talent for twisting people around his little finger.
—v.t.
  1. to touch with the fingers; toy or meddle with; handle.
  2. to touch with the fingers so as to mar or spoil: Please don't finger the vegetables.
  3. to pilfer; filch.
    1. to play on (an instrument) with the fingers.
    2. to perform or mark (a passage of music) with a certain fingering.
  4. He fingered the man who robbed the bank.
    1. to inform against or identify (a criminal) to the authorities:He fingered the man who robbed the bank.
    2. to designate as a victim, as of murder or other crime.
—v.i.
  1. to touch or handle something with the fingers.
  2. to extend in or as in the shape of a finger: Landing piers finger out into the river along the city's shoreline.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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