thimble









thimble


noun

  1. a small cap, usually of metal, worn over the fingertip to protect it when pushing a needle through cloth in sewing.
  2. Mechanics. any of various similar devices or attachments.
  3. Nautical. a metal ring with a concave groove on the outside, used to line the outside of a ring of rope forming an eye.
  4. a sleeve of sheet metal passing through the wall of a chimney, for holding the end of a stovepipe or the like.
  5. a thimble-shaped printing element with raised characters on the exterior: used in a type of electronic typewriter or computer printer (thimble printer).

noun

  1. a cap of metal, plastic, etc, used to protect the end of the finger when sewing
  2. any small metal cap resembling this
  3. nautical a loop of metal having a groove at its outer edge for a rope or cable, for lining the inside of an eye
  4. short for thimbleful

n.Old English ├żymel “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.

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