Thumb Definition

thŭm
thumbed, thumbing, thumbs
noun
thumbs
The short, thick digit of the human hand that is nearest the wrist and is opposable to the other fingers.
Webster's New World
A corresponding part in some other vertebrate animals.
Webster's New World
The part of a glove or mitten that covers the thumb.
Webster's New World
An ovolo.
American Heritage
Webster's New World
Synonyms:
pollexquarter roundovolopreaxial digitfirst digit
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verb
thumbed, thumbing, thumbs
To scan (written matter) by turning over pages with or as if with the thumb.
American Heritage
To handle, turn, soil, or wear with or as with the thumb.
Webster's New World
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.
Webster's New World
To scan written matter by turning over pages with or as if with the thumb.
Thumbed through the latest issue of the magazine.
American Heritage
To hitchhike.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
riffleafriffleflipflickhitchhitchhikefingerskimscanrun-throughglance atflip throughdip intoAlso used with through: browse
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other
(digit): opposable thumb.
Wiktionary
idiom
all thumbs
  • Lacking physical coordination, skill, or grace; clumsy.
American Heritage
thumb (one's) nose
  • To express scorn or ridicule, often by placing the thumb on the nose and wiggling the fingers.
American Heritage
under (someone's) thumb
  • Under the control of someone; subordinate to.
American Heritage
all thumbs
  • clumsy; fumbling
Webster's New World
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
Webster's New World
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Other Word Forms of Thumb

Noun

Singular:
thumb
Plural:
thumbs

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Thumb

Origin of Thumb

  • From Middle English thoume, thoumbe, from Old English þūma, from Proto-Germanic *þūmô (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 týmbos 'burial mound', Avestan tÅ«ma 'strong', Sanskrit túmras 'strong, thick').

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English from Old English thūma teuə- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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