1. an impression of the markings of the inner surface of the last joint of the thumb or other finger.
  2. such an impression made with ink for purposes of identification.
  3. any unique or distinctive pattern that presents unambiguous evidence of a specific person, substance, disease, etc.

verb (used with object)

  1. to take or record the fingerprints of.


  1. an impression of the pattern of ridges on the palmar surface of the end joint of each finger and thumb
  2. any identifying characteristic
  3. biochem the pattern of fragments obtained when a protein is digested by a proteolytic enzyme, usually observed following two-dimensional separation by chromatography and electrophoresis


  1. (tr) to take an inked impression of the fingerprints of (a person)
  2. to take a sample of (a person’s) DNA

1834, from finger (n.) + print (n.). Proposed as a means of identification from c.1892. Admissibility as evidence as valid proof of guilt in murder trials in U.S. upheld in 1912. From 1905 as a verb. Related: Fingerprinted; fingerprinting.


  1. An impression on a surface of the curves formed by the ridges on a fingertip, especially such an impression made in ink and used as a means of identification.
  2. A distinctive or identifying mark or characteristic.
  3. An analytical method capable of making fine distinctions between similar compounds.


  1. To take fingerprints of.
  2. To identify by a distinctive mark or characteristic.

The impression or mark left by the underside of the tips of the fingers or thumbs. The impression is formed by a pattern of ridges on the skin surface. This pattern is unique for each individual and therefore can serve as a means of identification. (Compare DNA fingerprinting.)

51 queries 0.549