Definition of dermatoglyphics in English:


plural noun

  • [treated as singular] The study of skin markings or patterns on fingers, hands, and feet, and its application, especially in criminology.

    • ‘The following physical features were noted: cleft lip and palate, overlapping fingers, low-set ears, simian creases, obscure dermatoglyphics, and hypoplastic external genitalia.’
    • ‘Thus, for the twins concordant for sexual orientation, the null hypothesis that there are no differences in dermatoglyphics between twins cannot be rejected.’
    • ‘The former is found on the palms and soles and has a thick outer layer that contains dermatoglyphics, a fancy term for fingerprints.’
    • ‘This visionary scientist also laid down the foundations of dermatoglyphics.’
    • ‘I invite all of those skeptics to read one of my latest works on the field and become introduced to the scientific study of hand appearances, called dermatoglyphics.’


1920s: from dermato- skin + Greek gluphikos carved (from gluphē carving).