thimble

[thim-buhl]
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)

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English thym(b)yl, Old English thȳmel; akin to Old Norse thumall thumb of a glove. See thumb, -le

thimblelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To thimble
Collins
World English Dictionary
thimble (ˈθɪmbəl)
 
n
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
 
[Old English thӯmel thumbstall, from thūmathumb]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

thimble
O.E. þymel "sheath or covering for the thumb," from thuma (see thumb) + -el, suffix used in forming names of instruments (cf. handle). Excrescent -b- began c.1440 (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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

thimble

small, bell-shaped implement designed to protect the end of the finger when sewing. Among the earliest known thimbles, dating from before AD 79, were those made of bronze and found at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Modern thimbles are almost exclusively produced in plastic or soft metals. Purely decorative thimbles are produced in an endless variety of materials and forms as collectibles.

Learn more about thimble with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Make three small openings in remaining halves, using a thimble, and put pieces
  together.
Forget about choosing between the top hat and the thimble.
It also had two jacuzzis--and a hot water heater the size of a thimble.
He was forced to take the thimble, which the doctors felt had brought on his
  depression and led to years of intense psychotherapy.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature