- a small cap, usually of metal, worn over the fingertip to protect it when pushing a needle through cloth in sewing.
- Mechanics. any of various similar devices or attachments.
- Nautical. a metal ring with a concave groove on the outside, used to line the outside of a ring of rope forming an eye.
- a sleeve of sheet metal passing through the wall of a chimney, for holding the end of a stovepipe or the like.
- a thimble-shaped printing element with raised characters on the exterior: used in a type of electronic typewriter or computer printer (thimble printer).
- a cap of metal, plastic, etc, used to protect the end of the finger when sewing
- any small metal cap resembling this
- nautical a loop of metal having a groove at its outer edge for a rope or cable, for lining the inside of an eye
- short for thimbleful
n.Old English þymel “sheath or covering for the thumb,” from thuma (see thumb) + -el, suffix used in forming names of instruments (cf. handle). Excrescent -b- began mid-15c. (cf. humble, nimble). Originally of leather, metal ones came into use 17c. Thimblerig, con game played with three thimbles and a pea or button, is attested from 1825 by this name, though references to thimble cheats, probably the same swindle, date back to 1716.