thumb

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English thoume, thoumbe, from Old English þūma, from Proto-Germanic *þūmô (compare West Frisian tomme, Dutch duim, Low German Dumen, German Daumen, Danish tomme, Swedish tumme), from Proto-Indo-European *tūm- (to grow) (compare Welsh tyfu (to grow), Latin tumēre (to swell), Albanian thumb (a sting, protuberance), Lithuanian tumėti (to thicken, clot), Ancient Greek [script?] (týmbos) 'burial mound', Avestan [script?] (tūma) 'strong', Sanskrit [script?] (túmras) 'strong, thick').

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

thumb (plural thumbs)

  1. 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. (computing) The part of a slider that may be moved linearly along the slider.
  3. (colloquial, Internet) A thumbnail picture.
    • 2001, "Gary", Wanna See Porn? Take a Look At These (Free Expandable Thumbs) - CLICK HERE (on newsgroup alt.sex.services)

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Verb[edit]

thumb (third-person singular simple present thumbs, present participle thumbing, simple past and past participle thumbed)

  1. (transitive) To touch or cover with the thumb.
    to thumb the touch-hole of a cannon
  2. (transitive, 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.
  3. (travel) To hitchhike
    So I started thumbin' back east, toward my hometown.
  4. To soil or wear with the thumb or the fingers; to soil, or wear out, by frequent handling.
    • Macaulay
      He gravely informed the enemy that all his cards had been thumbed to pieces, and begged them to let him have a few more packs.

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Albanian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From *thon ‘(finger)nail’ (modern thua). More at thua.

Noun[edit]

thumb m (indefinite plural thumba)

  1. stinger (of a bee)
  2. thorn, prick
  3. bell clapper, tongue (of bell)
  4. tack, thumbtack, shoe tack (spike)
  5. point of arrowhead, spiked tip of a goad or prod

Derived terms[edit]