Thumb-one-s-nose meaning

To place a thumb upon the tip of the nose, typically with the fingers spread and while simultaneously wiggling one's fingers, in a gesture of disrespect.

My brother thumbed his nose in reply to my snide remarks.

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(figuratively) To act disrespectfully, especially by flouting the object of disrespect.

Richard Feynman delighted in thumbing his nose at bureaucracy.

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A Confederate sailor thumbing his nose (gesture)
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Origin of thumb-one-s-nose