Definition of digit in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdɪdʒɪt/


1Any of the numerals from 0 to 9, especially when forming part of a number.
Example sentences
  • This invention was the decimal system of numerals - nine digits and a zero.
  • The petrol stations claimed their manual display signs had only space for three digits, two digits before the decimal point and one digit after.
  • But it was also well ahead of many hospitals, some of whom had no cases or figures in single digits.
numeral, number, figure, integer;
numerical symbol
rare cipher
2A finger, thumb, or toe.
Example sentences
  • The researchers found that in people under the age of 25, the thumb has taken over from the index finger as the digit most frequently used.
  • A ten-month-old boy has had his legs, arm and five digits amputated after contracting meningitis in Sheffield.
  • But inside the four layers of socks and gloves, I could hardly distinguish where my digits began and my arms ended.
finger, thumb, toe;
2.1 Zoology A structure equivalent to a finger or thumb at the end of the limbs of many higher vertebrates.
Example sentences
  • All adult plethodontids have four limbs, with four digits on the forelimbs.
  • Acanthostega had limbs and eight digits on each hand and foot, and also had fish characteristics like gills, fins, and sensory organs that only worked underwater.
  • The oldest tetrapods had seven or eight digits on each limb; the ancestral pattern for living tetrapods is five digits on each limb (such as the five fingers and toes of humans).


Late Middle English: from Latin digitus 'finger, toe'; sense 1 arose from the practice of counting on the fingers.

  • We all count on our fingers. This is how Latin digitus, ‘finger, toe’, came down to us as digit, ‘numeral’, in the late Middle Ages. Digital dates from the late 15th century, and the technical use of the word in communications arose in the mid 20th century.

Words that rhyme with digit

Bridget, fidget, widget

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: digit

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.