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[lahyt-fing-gerd] /ˈlaɪtˈfɪŋ gərd/
skillful at or given to pilfering, especially by picking pockets; thievish.
having light and nimble fingers.
Origin of light-fingered
Related forms
light-fingeredness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for light-fingered
  • Much of the book is the comedy of the age translated into a light-fingered prose.
  • She can also watch funds that sit unused in state coffers, and move them before any light-fingered officials get there.
  • The main concession is to be less critical of regimes that are a bit light-fingered, or disdainful of human-rights.
  • For an electrician and mechanic, no matter how light-fingered, there seemed no question of marrying them all off.
  • He is a light-fingered specimen who can pick a pocket or unbuckle a wrist watch with consummate ease.
British Dictionary definitions for light-fingered


having nimble or agile fingers, esp for thieving or picking pockets
Derived Forms
light-fingeredness, noun
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 light-fingered

"thievish," 1540s, from light (adj.1) + finger.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for light-fingered


  1. Inclined to steal; thievish; sticky-fingered (1547+)
  2. Having a light and nimble touch: The light-fingered thoughtfulness, the ironic lyricism of the most civilized playwright of the era (1804+)

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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