thumb

 

A thumb is a finger, but it’s separate from the other four fingers on your hand. The thumb helps us pick up and hold things. Without a thumb, it would be difficult to do some very basic physical tasks.

  • Video gamers rely on their thumbs when using a console to play games.
  • Jessica uses her thumbs when she sends a text.
  • Have you ever tried to button or zip up a jacket without using your thumbs?
  • I burned my left thumb when taking a hot pan out of the oven.
  • To hitchhike , walk backwards on the side of the road and point your thumb in the direction you are heading. (hitchhike = to get a ride from a passing vehicle)
  • The police officer jerked his thumb sideways to signal the driver to pull over.
  • Clicking on the thumb on Facebook shows that you like something.
  • Nelson pointed his thumb downward to show that he was unhappy with the decision.
  • The movie reviewer gave the film two thumbs up for its brilliant acting and suspenseful plot.
thumb up thumb down
good
bad

There are a few expressions that use this word:

  • Todd is all thumbs. (all thumbs = clumsy.)
  • Larissa has a green thumb. Her gardens are beautiful. (green thumb = skilled at gardening)
  • A good rule of thumb for people who want to buy a house these days is that they’ll need a twenty percent down payment when getting a mortgage. (rule of thumb = measurement; estimate)

Note: The word "thumb" uses an unvoiced "th" sound. Click here to practice the unvoiced th sound if you have trouble with it.

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November 23, 2015