- The thumb is the short finger on your hand that is nearest your wrist.
The short finger on your hand that is opposable to your other fingers is an example of a thumb.
- To thumb is to use the short finger of your hand to touch something or to turn the pages of a book.
When you turn the pages of a book using the short finger on your hand, this is an example of a time when you thumb through the book.
- the short, thick digit of the human hand that is nearest the wrist and is opposable to the other fingers
- a corresponding part in some other vertebrate animals
- the part of a glove or mitten that covers the thumb
- Archit. ovolo
Origin of thumbMiddle English (with unhistoric -b) from Old English thuma, akin to German daume(n) from Indo-European base an unverified form t?u-, to swell, increase from source Classical Latin tumor: basic sense, “enlarged finger”
- to handle, turn, soil, or wear with or as with the thumb
- Informal to solicit or get (a ride) or make (one's way) in hitchhiking by gesturing with the thumb extended in the direction one is traveling
thumb one's nose
- to raise one's thumb to the nose with the fingers extended, as a coarse gesture of defiance or contempt
- to express defiance or contempt
under someone's thumb
- a. The short thick digit of the human hand, next to the index finger and opposable to each of the other four digits.b. A corresponding digit in other animals, especially primates. Also called pollex .
- The part of a glove or mitten that covers the thumb.
- Architecture An ovolo.
verbthumbed, thumb·ing, thumbs
- To scan (written matter) by turning over pages with or as if with the thumb.
- To disarrange, soil, or wear by careless or frequent handling.
- Informal To solicit (a ride) from a passing vehicle by signaling with the thumb.
- To scan written matter by turning over pages with or as if with the thumb: thumbed through the latest issue of the magazine.
- Informal To hitchhike.
Origin of thumbMiddle English from Old English thūma ; see teuə- in Indo-European roots.
- (digit): opposable thumb
(third-person singular simple present thumbs, present participle thumbing, simple past and past participle thumbed)
- To touch or cover with the thumb.
- to thumb the touch-hole of a cannon
- (with through) To turn the pages of (a book) in order to read it cursorily.
- I thumbed through the book and decided not to bother reading it all.
- (travel) To hitchhike
- So I started thumbin' back east, toward my hometown.
- To soil or wear with the thumb or the fingers; to soil, or wear out, by frequent handling.
From Middle English thoume, thoumbe, from Old English Ã¾Å«ma, from Proto-Germanic *Ã¾Å«mÃ´ (cf. West Frisian tomme, Dutch duim, Low German Dumen, German Daumen, Danish tomme, Swedish tumme), from Proto-Indo-European *tÅ«m- (“to grow") (cf. Welsh tyfu (“to grow"), Latin tumÄ“re (“to swell"), Albanian thumb (“a sting, protuberance"), Lithuanian tumÄ—ti (“to thicken, clot"), Ancient Greek tÃ½mbos 'burial mound', Avestan tÅ«ma 'strong', Sanskrit tÃºmras 'strong, thick').