Fingers | Definition, Etymology, Functions & Anatomy


Fingers are the parts of our hands. They are a kind of digit which is attached to the hand. They are used for doing things. In Latin, it is called digiti manus.

It works as a vital organ of tangible sensation and fine movements. In human hands, there are five fingers but some people have fewer or more fingers due to inborn disorders such as polyadactyly or oligodactyly or unintentional or intentional amputations.


Fingers are the five digits including the thumb on every hand of a human but according to the various definitions, the thumb can be a finger or not. In Urdu, we call them انگلیاں.


This word originates from the Old English finger, of Germanic origin related to the Dutch vinger and German Finger.


  • Antenna
  • Digit
  • Extremity
  • Feeler
  • Pointer
  • Tentacle


They are used in our daily basis tasks such as for holding things, snapping, scratching, finger painting, and many more. They assist us in understanding the world around us and manipulate or move things. It is used to grip anything or object such as food or any tool which we find essential.

Types of Fingers

The hand of the human has five digits including four fingers and one thumb which are:

Index Finger: It is also known as pointer or trigger or fore finger. It is the second digit of the human hand.

Middle Finger: It is also the long finger and is the 3rd digit of the hand.

Ring Finger: It is the fourth digital of the hand.

Little Finger: This finger is also known as pinky or small or baby finger. It is the fifth digital of the hand.

Anatomy of Fingers


There are fourteen bones in a hand known as phalanges or phalanx. Every digit finger has three phalanxes which are:

  • Distal phalanx
  • Middle phalanx
  • Proximal phalanx

The thumb has 2 phalanges which are:

  • Distal phalanx
  • Proximal phalanx


The three joints in every finger are:

  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint
  • Distal interphalangeal Joint
  • Proximal interphalangeal Joint

Metacarpophalangeal Joint:

This joint is also known as the knuckles. It is such a joint where the bones of the fingers meet with the bones of the hands.

Distal interphalangeal Joint:

This joint attaches to the bones on the tips of the fingers. General problems at this joint involve Jersey Finger, arthritis, Mallet Finger, mucous cysts, and fractures.

Proximal interphalangeal Joint:

This joint means the articulation among the proximal and middle phalanx in the hand and is present in all fingers not including the thumb. It allows the flexion and expansion in the middle of the fingers.


In fingers, there is no muscle excluding the arrector pili. The muscles in the fingers which cause its movement are in the palm and the arm. But there are two muscles for flexion in every finger which are:

  • Flexor digitorum profundus
  • Flexor digitorum superficialis


The three nerves in the fingers are:

  • Ulnar nerve
  • Median nerve
  • Radial nerve

Finger Pain

It is a common condition and often caused due to hand injuries such as cuts, broken fingers,s or broken fingernails.


  • Raynaud syndrome
  • Trigger finger
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures
  • Cysts
  • De Quervain syndrome
  • Tendon conditions
  • Ganglia
  • Nerve compression syndrome
  • Arthritis


  • Ahmad broke his finger while playing cricket.
  • My finger burned while cooking.
  • Saba wears a beautiful ring on her index finger.
  • Ali put his finger on her lips.
  • Put your finger on your mouth.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which of the finger in the hand is very important?

The index finger is the most important digit after thumb.

Mention the scientific names of the fingers.

  1. Index finger: digitus index
  2. Middle finger: digitus medius
  3. Ring finger: digitus minimo proximus
  4. Little finger: digitus minimus

Which of the finger is associated with our heart?

The fourth finger of the left hand connects to our heart.

What kind of finger looks attractive?

  • Longer fingers
  • Slender fingers

What is polydactyly condition?

It is a state in which a baby is born with additional fingers.

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