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Dictionary


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 4½ in. (11 cm).
5. Slang.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. burn one's fingers, to suffer injury or loss by meddling or by acting rashly: If you get involved in the controversy, you may burn your fingers.
9. give (someone) the finger, Slang.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.
10. have a finger in the pie,
a. to have an interest or share in something.
b. to meddle in something.
11. keep one's fingers crossed, to wish for good luck or success, as in a specific endeavor: Keep your fingers crossed that I get the job.
12. lay or put one's finger on,
a. to indicate exactly; remember: I know the name, but I can't put my finger on it.
b. to discover; locate: I haven't been able to lay my finger on the book you requested.
13. not lift a finger, 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.
14. put the finger on, Slang.finger (def. 22).
15. slip through one's fingers,
a. to elude one, as an opportunity not taken; escape: She let the chance of a lifetime slip through her fingers.
b. to pass or be consumed quickly: Money just slips through his fingers.
16. snap one's fingers (at), to exhibit disdain or contempt (for): She snaps her fingers at the local gossip.
17. twist or wrap around one's little finger, 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.
4. Music.
a. to play on (an instrument) with the fingers.
b. to perform or mark (a passage of music) with a certain fingering.
5. Slang.
a. to inform against or identify (a criminal) to the authorities: He fingered the man who robbed the bank.
b. 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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