9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fist] /fɪst/
the hand closed tightly, with the fingers doubled into the palm.
Informal. the hand.
Informal. a person's handwriting.
Printing. index (def 8).
verb (used with object)
to make (one's hand) into a fist.
to grasp in the fist.
Origin of fist1
before 900; Middle English; Old English fȳst; cognate with German Faust fist; perhaps akin to five


[fahyst] /faɪst/
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fist
  • He imagined placing a city in the palm of his hand, making his hand into a fist, making the city into a happier place.
  • Attempting to control every aspect of the event with an iron fist will probably end up in disaster.
  • He did not have to rule with an iron fist and threaten everyone with their jobs to make them perform.
  • So the next time you're faced with a choice that takes self-control, clench your fist or firm that bicep.
  • Having your turn hold the magnet in your fist and make circles in the bowl.
  • He balled his fist, and slugged her across the face.
  • The latter on a sudden struck him such a box with his fist, that the powder flew about me, into my eyes.
  • For example, your right to punch anything you want ends when your fist hits my face.
  • Most of all, never let the public know there is an iron fist inside your velvet glove.
  • Press down on topknot with a damp fist to press cheese out from center.
British Dictionary definitions for fist


a hand with the fingers clenched into the palm, as for hitting
Also called fistful. the quantity that can be held in a fist or hand
an informal word for hand, index (sense 9)
(transitive) to hit with the fist
Word Origin
Old English fӯst; related to Old Frisian fest, Old Saxon, Old High German fūst; see five
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 fist

Old English fyst, from West Germanic *fustiz (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German fust, Old Frisian fest, Middle Dutch vuust, Dutch vuist, German Faust), from Proto-Germanic *fukhstiz, probably ultimately from PIE *penkwe- "five" (cf. Old Church Slavonic pesti, Russian piasti "fist").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fist


  1. The hand used for operating a telegraphic key (1930s+ Telegraphers & radio operators)
  2. A signature (1842+)
Related Terms

make money hand over fist

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with fist


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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