from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A mark left by the impression of the thumb, as on the leaves of a book; hence, any mark resembling this.
  • noun The imprint of the ball of the thumb used as a means of identification, as in the case of a criminal.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The index would be classified primarily by some unchanging physical characteristic, such as we are told the thumb-mark and finger-mark afford, and to these would be added any other physical traits that were of material value.

    A Modern Utopia Herbert George 2006

  • [Footnote: It is quite possible that the actual thumb-mark may play only a small part in the work of identification, but it is an obvious convenience to our thread of story to assume that it is the one sufficient feature.]

    A Modern Utopia Herbert George 2006

  • Brooding over the case in that den of his, it suddenly struck him what absolutely damning evidence he could make against McFarlane by using that thumb-mark.

    The Adventure of the Norwood Builder 1981

  • He asked people to pass their hands through their hair (thus collecting upon them a thin coating of the natural oil) and then making a thumb-mark on a glass strip, following it with the mark of the ball of each finger in succession.

    Pudd'nhead Wilson 1955

  • My reasons for believing this thumb-mark was made by the assassin are easily understood.

    The Darrow Enigma Melvin Linwood Severy

  • Brick buildings, with crenellated walls (until the discovery of Tell 'Obeid supposed to date only from the later Sumerian period) of typical plano-convex bricks, baked or crude, usually with thumb-mark down length of convex side (Shahrein), or with two thumb-holes (for carrying the brick when wet?), or vent-holes (' Obeid); at first uninscribed, later with long inscriptions; measuring 10 x 6 x 2-2 1/4 ins.

    How to Observe in Archaeology Various

  • What first fastened my attention was this vague, unfocussed, roving, quasi-introspective vision flashing with panther-like suddenness into a directness that seemed to burn and pierce one like the thrust of a hot stiletto, His face was clean-shaven, save for a mere thumb-mark of black hair directly under the centre of his lower lip.

    The Darrow Enigma Melvin Linwood Severy

  • You will please note the thumb-mark in the margin of page

    The Darrow Enigma Melvin Linwood Severy

  • The question was not one which could be conveniently settled by a brilliant flash of deductive logic, or the discovery of a bloodstained thumb-mark.

    The Unpleasantness At The Belladonna Club Sayers, Dorothy L.Lord Peter 05 1928

  • Now see: on this left boot we find the stranger's thumb-mark over the mud on the leather above the heel.

    Whose Body? Dorothy Leigh 1923


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