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Meaning of thumb

thumb

Pronunciation: (thum), [key]
— n.
  1. the short, thick, inner digit of the human hand, next to the forefinger.
  2. the corresponding digit in other animals; pollex.
  3. the part of a glove or mitten for containing this digit.
  4. an ovolo or echinus molding.
  5. awkward; clumsy; bungling: The visitor almost knocked over a vase and seemed to be all thumbs.
  6. a gesture or expression of dissent or disapproval: We turned thumbs down to that suggestion.
  7. a gesture or expression of assent or approval.
  8. under the power or influence of; subordinate to.
—v.t.
  1. to soil or wear with the thumbs in handling, as the pages of a book.
  2. to glance through (the pages of a book, leaflet, etc.) quickly.
  3. to play (a guitar or other instrument) with or as with the thumbs.
  4. (of a hitchhiker) to solicit or get (a ride) by pointing the thumb in the desired direction of travel.
    1. to put one's thumb to one's nose and extend the fingers as a crudely defiant or contemptuous gesture.
    2. to express defiance or contempt; dismiss or reject contemptuously.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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