1. One of the five terminating members of the hand; a digit; esp., one of the four extremities of the hand, other than the thumb.
2. Anything that does the work of a finger; as, the pointer of a clock, watch, or other registering machine; especially Mech. a small projecting rod, wire, or piece, which is brought into contact with an object to effect, direct, or restrain a motion.
3. The breadth of a finger, or the fourth part of the hand; a measure of nearly an inch; also, the length of finger, a measure in domestic use in the United States, of about four and a half inches or one eighth of a yard.
A piece of steel three fingers thick. --Bp. Wilkins.
4. Skill in the use of the fingers, as in playing upon a musical instrument. [R.]
She has a good finger. --Busby.
Ear finger, the little finger.
Finger alphabet. See Dactylology.
Finger bar, the horizontal bar, carrying slotted spikes, or fingers, through which the vibratory knives of mowing and reaping machines play.
Finger board Mus., the part of a stringed instrument against which the fingers press the strings to vary the tone; the keyboard of a piano, organ, etc.; manual.
Finger bowl Finger glass, a bowl or glass to hold water for rinsing the fingers at table.
Finger flower Bot., the foxglove.
Finger grass Bot., a kind of grass (Panicum sanguinale) with slender radiating spikes; common crab grass. See Crab grass, under Crab.
Finger nut, a fly nut or thumb nut.
Finger plate, a strip of metal, glass, etc., to protect a painted or polished door from finger marks.
Finger post, a guide post bearing an index finger.
Finger reading, reading printed in relief so as to be sensible to the touch; -- so made for the blind.
Finger shell Zool., a marine shell (Pholas dactylus) resembling a finger in form.
Finger sponge Zool., a sponge having finger-shaped lobes, or branches.
Finger stall, a cover or shield for a finger.
Finger steel, a steel instrument for whetting a currier's knife.
To burn one's fingers. See under Burn.
To have a finger in, to be concerned in. [Colloq.]
To have at one's fingers' ends, to be thoroughly familiar with. [Colloq.]
1. Popularly: Herbage; the plants which constitute the food of cattle and other beasts; pasture.
2. Bot. An endogenous plant having simple leaves, a stem generally jointed and tubular, the husks or glumes in pairs, and the seed single.
Note: ☞ This definition includes wheat, rye, oats, barley, etc., and excludes clover and some other plants which are commonly called by the name of grass. The grasses form a numerous family of plants.
3. The season of fresh grass; spring. [Colloq.]
Two years old next grass. --Latham.
4. Metaphorically used for what is transitory.
Surely the people is grass. --Is. xl. 7.
Note: ☞ The following list includes most of the grasses of the United States of special interest, except cereals. Many of these terms will be found with definitions in the Vocabulary. See Illustrations in Appendix.
Barnyard grass, for hay. South. Panicum Grus-galli.
Bent, pasture and hay. Agrostis, several species.
Bermuda grass, pasture. South. Cynodon Dactylon.
Black bent. Same as Switch grass (below).
Blue bent, hay. North and West. Andropogon provincialis.
Blue grass, pasture. Poa compressa.
Blue joint, hay. Northwest. Aqropyrum glaucum.
Buffalo grass, grazing. Rocky Mts., etc. (a) Buchloë dectyloides. (b) Same as Grama grass (below).
Bunch grass, grazing. Far West. Eriocoma, Festuca, Stips, etc.
Chess, or Cheat, a weed. Bromus secalinus, etc.
Couch grass. Same as Quick grass (below).
Crab grass, (a) Hay, in South. A weed, in North. Panicum sanguinale. (b) Pasture and hay. South. Eleusine Indica.
Darnel (a) Bearded, a noxious weed. Lolium temulentum. (b) Common. Same as Rye grass (below).
Drop seed, fair for forage and hay. Muhlenbergia, several species.
English grass. Same as Redtop (below).
Fowl meadow grass. (a) Pasture and hay. Poa serotina. (b) Hay, on moist land. Gryceria nervata.
Gama grass, cut fodder. South. Tripsacum dactyloides.
Grama grass, grazing. West and Pacific slope. Bouteloua oligostachya, etc.
Great bunch grass, pasture and hay. Far West. Festuca scabrella.
Guinea grass, hay. South. Panicum jumentorum.
Herd's grass, in New England Timothy, in Pennsylvania and South Redtop.
Indian grass. Same as Wood grass (below).
Italian rye grass, forage and hay. Lolium Italicum.
Johnson grass, grazing and hay. South and Southwest. Sorghum Halepense.
Kentucky blue grass, pasture. Poa pratensis.
Lyme grass, coarse hay. South. Elymus, several species.
Manna grass, pasture and hay. Glyceria, several species.
Meadow fescue, pasture and hay. Festuca elatior.
Meadow foxtail, pasture, hay, lawn. North. Alopecurus pratensis.
Meadow grass, pasture, hay, lawn. Poa, several species.
Mesquite grass, or Muskit grass. Same as Grama grass (above).
Nimble Will, a kind of drop seed. Muhlenbergia diffsa.
Orchard grass, pasture and hay. Dactylis glomerata.
Porcupine grass, troublesome to sheep. Northwest. Stipa spartea.
Quaking grass, ornamental. Briza media and maxima.
Quitch, or Quick, grass, etc., a weed. Agropyrum repens.
Ray grass. Same as Rye grass (below).
Redtop, pasture and hay. Agrostis vulgaris.
Red-topped buffalo grass, forage. Northwest. Poa tenuifolia.
Reed canary grass, of slight value. Phalaris arundinacea.
Reed meadow grass, hay. North. Glyceria aquatica.
Ribbon grass, a striped leaved form of Reed canary grass.
Rye grass, pasture, hay. Lolium perenne, var.
Seneca grass, fragrant basket work, etc. North. Hierochloa borealis.
Sesame grass. Same as Gama grass (above).
Sheep's fescue, sheep pasture, native in Northern Europe and Asia. Festuca ovina.
Small reed grass, meadow pasture and hay. North. Deyeuxia Canadensis.
Spear grass, Same as Meadow grass (above).
Squirrel-tail grass, troublesome to animals. Seacoast and Northwest. Hordeum jubatum.
Switch grass, hay, cut young. Panicum virgatum.
Timothy, cut young, the best of hay. North. Phleum pratense.
Velvet grass, hay on poor soil. South. Holcus lanatus.
Vernal grass, pasture, hay, lawn. Anthoxanthum odoratum.
Wire grass, valuable in pastures. Poa compressa.
Wood grass, Indian grass, hay. Chrysopogon nutans.
Note: ☞ Many plants are popularly called grasses which are not true grasses botanically considered, such as black grass, goose grass, star grass, etc.
Black grass, a kind of small rush (Juncus Gerardi), growing in salt marshes, used for making salt hay.
Grass of the Andes, an oat grass, the Arrhenatherum avenaceum of Europe.-- Grass of Parnassus, a plant of the genus Parnassia growing in wet ground. The European species is Parnassia palustris; in the United States there are several species.
Grass bass Zool., the calico bass.
Grass bird, the dunlin.
Grass cloth, a cloth woven from the tough fibers of the grass-cloth plant.
Grass-cloth plant, a perennial herb of the Nettle family (Bœhmeria nivea syn. Urtica nivea), which grows in Sumatra, China, and Assam, whose inner bark has fine and strong fibers suited for textile purposes.
Grass finch. Zool. (a) A common American sparrow (Poöcætes gramineus); -- called also vesper sparrow and bay-winged bunting. (b) Any Australian finch, of the genus Poëphila, of which several species are known.
Grass lamb, a lamb suckled by a dam running on pasture land and giving rich milk.-- Grass land, land kept in grass and not tilled.
Grass moth Zool., one of many small moths of the genus Crambus, found in grass.
Grass oil, a fragrant essential volatile oil, obtained in India from grasses of the genus Andropogon, etc.; -- used in perfumery under the name of citronella, ginger grass oil, lemon grass oil, essence of verbena etc.
Grass owl Zool., a South African owl (Strix Capensis).
Grass parrakeet Zool., any of several species of Australian parrots, of the genus Euphemia; -- also applied to the zebra parrakeet.
Grass plover Zool., the upland or field plover.
Grass poly Bot., a species of willowwort (Lythrum Hyssopifolia). --Johnson.
Crass quit Zool., one of several tropical American finches of the genus Euetheia. The males have most of the head and chest black and often marked with yellow.
Grass snake. Zool. (a) The common English, or ringed, snake (Tropidonotus natrix). (b) The common green snake of the Northern United States. See Green snake, under Green.
Grass snipe Zool., the pectoral sandpiper (Tringa maculata); -- called also jacksnipe in America.
Grass spider Zool., a common spider (Agelena nævia), which spins flat webs on grass, conspicuous when covered with dew.
Grass sponge Zool., an inferior kind of commercial sponge from Florida and the Bahamas.
Grass table. Arch. See Earth table, under Earth.
Grass vetch Bot., a vetch (Lathyrus Nissolia), with narrow grasslike leaves.
Grass wrack Bot. eelgrass.
To bring to grass Mining., to raise, as ore, to the surface of the ground.
To put to grass, To put out to grass, to put out to graze a season, as cattle.