What does thumb mean?

Definitions for thumb

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word thumb.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. thumb, pollexnoun

    the thick short innermost digit of the forelimb

  2. thumbnoun

    the part of a glove that provides a covering for the thumb

  3. ovolo, thumb, quarter roundverb

    a convex molding having a cross section in the form of a quarter of a circle or of an ellipse

  4. hitchhike, hitch, thumbverb

    travel by getting free rides from motorists

  5. flick, flip, thumb, riffle, leaf, riffverb

    look through a book or other written material

    "He thumbed through the report"; "She leafed through the volume"

  6. finger, thumbverb

    feel or handle with the fingers

    "finger the binding of the book"


  1. thumbnoun

    The short thick digit of the hand that for humans has the most mobility and can be made to oppose (moved to touch) all of the other fingers.

  2. thumbnoun

    The part of a slider that may be moved linearly along the slider.

  3. thumbnoun

    A thumbnail picture.

  4. thumbverb

    To touch with the thumb.

  5. thumbverb

    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.

  6. thumbverb

    To hitchhike

    So I started thumbin' back east, toward my hometown.

  7. Etymology: Middle English thoume, thoumbe, from þuma, from þūmô (cf. West Frisian tomme, Dutch duim, German Daumen), from tūm- (cf. Albanian thumb,thimth, thembër, Romanian tumburush, Welsh tyfu, Latin tumere, Lithuanian tumėti, Ancient Greek 'burial mound', Avestan 'strong', Sanskrit 'strong, thick').

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. THUMBnoun

    The short strong finger answering to the other four.

    Etymology: ðuma , Saxon.

    Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
    Wreck’d as homeward he did come. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    When he is dead you will wear him in thumb rings, as the Turks did Scanderbeg. Dryden.

    Every man in Turkey is of some trade: Sultan Achmet was a maker of ivory rings, which the Turks wear upon their thumbs when they shoot their arrows. William Broome.

    It is divided into four fingers bending forwards, and one opposite bending backwards called the thumb, to join with them severally or united, whereby it is fitted to lay hold of objects. John Ray, on the Creation.

  2. To Thumbverb

    To handle aukwardly.


  1. Thumb

    The thumb is the first digit (finger) of the hand. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the thumb is the outermost digit. The Medical Latin English noun for thumb is pollex (compare hallux for big toe), and the corresponding adjective for thumb is pollical.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Thumbnoun

    the short, thick first digit of the human hand, differing from the other fingers in having but two phalanges; the pollex. See Pollex

  2. Thumbverb

    to handle awkwardly

  3. Thumbverb

    to play with the thumbs, or with the thumbs and fingers; as, to thumb over a tune

  4. Thumbverb

    to soil or wear with the thumb or the fingers; to soil, or wear out, by frequent handling; also, to cover with the thumb; as, to thumb the touch-hole of a cannon

  5. Thumbverb

    to play with the thumb or thumbs; to play clumsily; to thrum


  1. Thumb

    The thumb is the first digit of the hand. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position, the thumb is the outermost digit. The Medical Latin English noun for thumb is pollex, and the corresponding adjective for thumb is pollical.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Thumb

    thum, n. the short, thick digit, consisting of two phalanges, on the radial side of the human hand: the corresponding member in other animals.—v.t. to handle awkwardly: to play or soil with the thumb or fingers.—v.i. to finger.—adj. Thumbed, having thumbs: marked by the thumb, worn.—ns. Thumb′kin, Thumb′screw, an old instrument of torture for compressing the thumb by means of a screw.—adj. Thumb′less.—ns. Thumb′-mark, a mark left by the impression of the thumb on the pages of a book, &c.; Thumb′piece, a piece serving as a support for the thumb: a knob or projection by means of which a spring is worked by pressure of the thumb; Thumb′pot, a very small pot used by florists for starting slips or seedlings; Thumb′-ring (Shak.), a ring worn on the thumb: a ring for the thumb fastened to the guard of a dagger or sword; Thumb′-stall, a covering or sheath for the thumb.—By rule of thumb, in a rough-and-ready practical manner, found by experience to be convenient; Under one's thumb, under one's influence. [With intrusive b from A.S. þuma; cog. with Ger. daumen.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. thumb

    The slider on a window-system scrollbar. So called because moving it allows you to browse through the contents of a text window in a way analogous to thumbing through a book.

Editors Contribution

  1. thumb

    A facet of the human hand.

    We all have a thumb on each hand.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 8, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. thumb

    The thumb symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the thumb symbol and its characteristic.

  2. thumb

    Song lyrics by thumb -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by thumb on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'thumb' in Nouns Frequency: #2412

How to pronounce thumb?

How to say thumb in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of thumb in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of thumb in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of thumb in a Sentence

  1. Jim Lovell:

    I realized that behind my thumb, there were about( 3.5 billion) people and everything I ever knew, i suddenly got a different feeling about life in general and my position in it.

  2. Lars Noah:

    The Bates decision by now sticks out like a sore thumb, bayer has more than enough ammunition in recent Supreme Court cases to show the trial court judges got it wrong.

  3. Dunyasha Yetts:

    I said,' Doc, it's my damn thumb.' So I literally got up off the table, turned around and busted through the door.

  4. Kelly Foy and Pat McLarney:

    A good rule of thumb is one day for every year of life, for example, five days for a five-year-old.

  5. Raj Dasgupta:

    Now you don't want to be a weirdo and start measuring your loved one's neck build at night, the rule of thumb is always going to be a collar size of greater than 17 inches( 43 centimeters) for a male, and greater than 16 inches( 40.6 centimeters) for a female will put you at a higher risk for sleep apnea.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for thumb

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