Dictionary > Finger


1. One of the five terminating members of the hand; a digit; especially, one of the four extermities of the hand, other than the thumb.
2. (Science: mechanics) Anything that does work of a finger; as, the pointer of a clock, watch, or other registering machine; especially a small projecting rod, wire, or piece, which is brought into contact with an object to effect, direct, or restrain a motion.
3. The breadth of a finger, or the fourth part of the hand; a measure of nearly an inch; also, the length of finger, a measure in domestic use in the united states, of about four and a half inches or one eighth of a yard. A piece of steel three fingers thick. (bp. Wilkins)
4. Skill in the use of the fingers, as in playing upon a musical instrument. She has a good finger. (Busby) ear finger, the little finger. Finger alphabet. See dactylology. Finger bar, the horizontal bar, carrying slotted spikes, or fingers, through which the vibratory knives of mowing and reaping machines play. Finger board, the part of a stringed instrument against which the fingers press the strings to vary the tone; the keyboard of a piano, organ, etc.; manual. Finger bowl or glass, a bowl or glass to hold water for rinsing the fingers at table.
(Science: Botany) finger flower, a sponge having finger-shaped lobes, or branches. Finger stall, a cover or shield for a finger. Finger steel, a steel instrument for whetting a currier’s knife. To burn one’s fingers. See burn. To have a finger in, to be concerned in. To have at one’s fingers ends, to be thoroughly familiar with.
Origin: as. Finger; akin to D. Vinger, os. & OHG. Fingar, g. Finger, Icel. Fingr, Sw. & dan. Finger, goth. Figgrs; of unknown origin; perh. Akin to E. Fang.
The length of breadth of a finger used as a linear measure.

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