Definition of thumbprint in US 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Quite apart from the chances of being caught through the thumbprints, they know that these stores are switched on about security in general.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And what is the problem with tooling the joint before it is thumbprint hard?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Geoff signs all his paintings with his own unique signature - a thumbprint.’
    • ‘What about the chap who insists his bank use his thumbprint to identify him if he applies for credit?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The officer behind the counter took my thumbprint, my picture.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The buyer paid in new £20 notes - two of which showed 34-year-old Maguire's thumbprint, fingerprint and palm impression.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A distinctive identifying characteristic.
      ‘it has an individuality and thumbprint of its own’
      • ‘His thumbprint is everywhere; he had a finger in every pie.’
      • ‘Our thumbprints, our handprints are all over this plan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’