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A finger is a prominent digit on the forelimbs of most tetrapod vertebrate animals, especially those with prehensile extremities (i.e. hands) such as humans and other primates. Most tetrapods have five digits (pentadactyly), and short digits (i.e. significantly shorter than the metacarpal/metatarsals) are typically referred to as toes, while those that are notably elongated are called fingers. In humans, the fingers are flexibly articulated and opposable, serving as an important organ of tactile sensation and fine movements, which are crucial to the dexterity of the hands and the ability to grasp and manipulate objects.


  • Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
    • Alfred Whitney Griswold, baccalaureate address, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (9 June 1957) —Congressional Record (11 June 1957), vol. 103, Appendix, p. A4545.
  • I heard another pianist in Berlin who had a big success and I thought he was awful — Mischa Levitzki. Just fingers, and you cannot listen only to fingers.
  • Quoth the Ocean, "Dawn! O fairest, clearest,
    Touch me with thy golden fingers bland;
    For I have no smile till thou appearest
    For the lovely land."
  • When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing to himself.
  • A drop of patience: but, alas, to make me
    A fixed figure, for the time of scorn
    To point his slow unmoving finger at!
    • William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act IV, scene 2, line 53. In the folio: "The fixed figure for the time of scorn / To point his slow and moving finger at".
  • In Paradise they look no more awry;
    and though they make anew, they make no lie.
    Be sure they still will make, not being dead,
    and poets shall have flames upon their head,
    and harps whereon their faultless fingers fall:
    there each shall choose for ever from the All.

See also