Definition of fingerprint in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfɪŋɡəprɪnt/


1An impression or mark made on a surface by a person’s fingertip, able to be used for identifying individuals from the unique pattern of whorls and lines on the fingertips.
Example sentences
  • Imperfections such as marks, lines and fingerprints only enhance the personality of these photos.
  • To open the safe, a ‘learned’ finger is placed on the sensor, which then compares the fingerprint's unique pattern to those stored in its memory bank.
  • A machine scans the index finger, matching the customer's unique fingerprint with the individual's account.
1.1A distinctive identifying characteristic: the faint chemical fingerprint of plastic explosives
More example sentences
  • The magnet ‘maps’ molecules to identify their distinct fingerprints.
  • Using this technique, absorption spectra that are a characteristic fingerprint of the sample analyzed are routinely obtained with minimum or no sample preparation.
  • As such, they serve as distinctive fingerprints, suitable for differentiating among individual walnut trees within the same species.


[with object]
Record the fingerprints of: I was booked, fingerprinted, and locked up for the night
More example sentences
  • Police then dragged him back onto his feet and took him to the justice center to be fingerprinted and booked.
  • He took a further step in 1929 and began fingerprinting all civil servants.
  • ‘No, I've never been fingerprinted,’ I assured him, as he pulled out what appeared to be an ink pad and blotter.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fin¦ger|print

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.