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fingerprint

[fing-ger-print] /ˈfɪŋ gərˌprɪnt/
noun
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)
4.
to take or record the fingerprints of.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; finger + print
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fingerprint
  • Now a school has asked to fingerprint me post campus interview.
  • Many of the fingerprint readers could be tricked simply by breathing on them, reactivating the last user's fingerprint.
  • The fingerprint images have also been reduced in resolution so as to render them unusable except for illustration.
  • Maynard has personally experienced many fingerprint-related snafus, often related to employment.
  • The gases in a planet's atmosphere provide the unique fingerprint for such a comparison.
  • Each ring contains a fingerprint of the water chemistry wherever the fish swam on a given day.
  • The researchers are also looking for shifts or contractions in species distribution-a fingerprint of climate change.
  • Here, a technician dusts a mounted rhino head with magnetic fluorescent powder, revealing a clear fingerprint on the horn.
  • Each fish's pattern is as unique as a human fingerprint.
  • Mistaken eyewitness identification is a major culprit, but fingerprint misidentification is cited too.
British Dictionary definitions for fingerprint

fingerprint

/ˈfɪŋɡəˌprɪnt/
noun
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
verb
4.
(transitive) to take an inked impression of the fingerprints of (a person)
5.
to take a sample of (a person's) DNA
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fingerprint
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fingerprint in Medicine

fingerprint fin·ger·print (fĭng'gər-prĭnt')
n.

  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.

v. fin·ger·print·ed, fin·ger·print·ing, fin·ger·prints
  1. To take fingerprints of.

  2. To identify by a distinctive mark or characteristic.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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fingerprint in Culture

fingerprint definition


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.)

Note: Fingerprinting is used extensively in criminal investigation, but it is also used as a means of identification by many organizations.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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