a. A human finger or toe.
b. A corresponding part in other vertebrates.
2. A unit of length derived from the breadth of a finger and equal to about 34 of an inch (2.0 centimeters).
a. One of the ten Arabic number symbols, 0 through 9.
b. Such a symbol used in a system of numeration.
4. digits Slang A telephone number: She gave me her digits, and I put them in my phone.
[Middle English, from Latin digitus, finger, toe; see deik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.