Definition of thumbprint in English:



  • 1An impression or mark made on a surface by the inner part of the top joint of the thumb, especially as used for identifying individuals from the unique pattern of whorls and lines.

    ‘the stolen item was traceable through her thumbprint’
    ‘dirty thumbprints’
    • ‘What about the chap who insists his bank use his thumbprint to identify him if he applies for credit?’
    • ‘The buyer paid in new £20 notes - two of which showed 34-year-old Maguire's thumbprint, fingerprint and palm impression.’
    • ‘If a transaction proves to be void, then we can use the thumbprint on record to help us identify the person who made the purchase.’
    • ‘To my right, I noticed something that I had seen in place many times as I had gone into New York, and that was the latest scanning equipment for thumbprints or fingerprints.’
    • ‘I take the dough from a thumbprint cookie filled with strawberry preserves and replace the jam with lemon curd, or with chocolate and Italian cherries.’
    • ‘Shoppers will soon be asked to provide a thumbprint as proof of their identity when buying goods using a credit card or cheque book in Chesterfield.’
    • ‘And what is the problem with tooling the joint before it is thumbprint hard?’
    • ‘They did the biometric thing to me (i.e. thumbprints and photo) and I'm alive, so I guess it went well - though Uncle Sam now has me in his crosshairs.’
    • ‘Within eight years, we'll vote on the Internet all in one day from wherever we are with our PC and we'll probably use our thumbprint as an identifier.’
    • ‘The library includes new technology which means children can borrow a book by putting their thumb on to a machine which recognises their individual thumbprints.’
    • ‘That capacity for regeneration means that the cerebral wiring for our own store of knowledge and memories, which grows as we do, is as unique as a thumbprint.’
    • ‘The officer behind the counter took my thumbprint, my picture.’
    • ‘He also added a design on the back of the ‘bills’ consisting of five circles, in which the new purchasers were to place their thumbprint as a mark of ownership.’
    • ‘Quite apart from the chances of being caught through the thumbprints, they know that these stores are switched on about security in general.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the centre said: ‘The feeling was that it worked as a deterrent but many retailers felt uncomfortable about asking customers for thumbprints.’’
    • ‘I just want to point out that thumbprint scanners DO NOT store your thumbprint.’
    • ‘Geoff signs all his paintings with his own unique signature - a thumbprint.’
    • ‘I can't see us eliminating piracy until we get to the stage where you need identify yourself with a thumbprint to be able to activate the console.’
    • ‘The Government's Information Commissioner's Office said there had been no breaches of the Data Protection Act, as the thumbprints were reduced to a numerical code.’
    • ‘Already a success in Putney and Clapham Junction, the scheme asks customers without identification to supply a thumbprint if they are paying by credit card.’
    1. 1.1 A distinctive identifying characteristic.
      ‘it has an individuality and thumbprint of its own’
      • ‘The thumbprint of Infinite Jest's influence can be seen in writers who published works that dealt with "untrendy human problems".’
      • ‘At first the picture reminded me of scattered toys but then I realized the hurricane's thumbprint.’
      • ‘We acknowledge that this change in the shape of the EU is indeed constitutional, does mark something pretty big, and merits the thumbprint of the nation to endorse it.’
      • ‘His thumbprint is everywhere; he had a finger in every pie.’
      • ‘Our thumbprints, our handprints are all over this plan.’