Definition of fist in US English:



  • A person's hand when the fingers are bent in toward the palm and held there tightly, typically in order to strike a blow or grasp something.

    • ‘I curled my fingers into my palm and banged my fist weakly against the door.’
    • ‘He clenched his fists so tightly that he broke the skin on his palms.’
    • ‘I grasped the bar tightly in my fists lest I flew off by accident.’
    • ‘She clenched her fists tightly, awaiting his answer with bated breath.’
    • ‘He hissed and clenched his fists so tightly I saw a trail of blood slide down his palms.’
    • ‘I clenched my fists so tightly that my fingernails almost drew blood.’
    • ‘He came at her, and she blocked his strike at her face and drove her fist towards his diaphragm.’
    • ‘He leaped to his feet, pumped his fists, slapped the palms of the other teams' representatives.’
    • ‘I clenched my fists tightly, trying to use the agony of my nails digging into the skin to deter me from my current situation.’
    • ‘She balled her hands into fists and brought them towards her, crossing them over her chest.’
    • ‘Then he sticks out his chest, and both his fists are tightly closed.’
    • ‘He looked back down at the ground and she clenched her fists tightly.’
    • ‘He clenched his fists tightly, nails digging into his palms.’
    • ‘She clenched her fists tightly, and when she spoke, she spoke through gritted teeth.’
    • ‘His fist winds tightly around my fingers until I feel the cracking of my bones.’
    • ‘He clenched his fists tightly and shook his head slowly from side to side.’
    • ‘I clenched my fists tightly and hurled myself at the boy who had pushed me down.’
    • ‘She clenched her fists tightly and narrowed her eyes at the memory.’
    • ‘The fear I felt at being caught turned into anger and I felt my hands bunch tightly into fists.’
    • ‘Rebecca clenched her fists tightly beside her as she glared at them.’
    clenched hand
    View synonyms


  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Hit with or as with the fists or a fist.

    ‘a fastball he fisted into left field’
    • ‘I probably had a goal chance in the first half but I didn't have much room and I probably should have fisted it over the bar.’
    • ‘When we arrived, the shooters were usually standing around fisting beer cans and comparing their overall performances that season.’
    • ‘McConville's kick fell short, but Barry O'Hagan managed to help it on its way, fisting it over the bar.’
    • ‘He received a pass from a quickly-taken free and fisted the ball over the bar.’
    • ‘When a breaking ball fell to the full forward his rasping shot came off the crossbar but he was alert to fist the rebound to the net.’
  • 2vulgar slang with object Penetrate (a person's anus or vagina) with one's fist.


  • make a — fist of

    • informal Do something to the specified degree of success.

      ‘I think he's made a good fist of it’
      • ‘For much of the first half, however, Scotland looked set to make a good fist of it.’
      • ‘There's a shortage of romantic films here, but this makes a good fist of the novel, and films usually only cope with short stories.’
      • ‘In essence correct, it was still possible to feel sympathy for the visitors, who again showed signs that they can make a decent fist of a campaign that is all about survival.’
      • ‘She makes a reasonable fist of appearing down-to-earth but every so often, you see how warped the foundations are.’
      • ‘And the fact that the Irishman is apparently making a decent fist of that is forcing quite a few people in football to reconsider their judgment of the manager, if not of the man.’
      • ‘And if I know how something should feel, I can make a good fist of making it happen.’
      • ‘It's a chance to show that he can believably play an older character, and he makes a decent fist of the hateful narcissist made good.’
      • ‘And I knew I could do things, and I applied for about 60 jobs out of the paper that I thought I would make a good fist of.’
      • ‘For a man whose first love is cricket, he isn't making a bad fist of professional rugby.’
      • ‘Combining interviews with investigators, family and friends of victims and dramatic reconstructions of the crimes, the show makes a decent fist of bringing its selection of harrowing tales to life.’


Old English fȳst, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vuist and German Faust.