Also found in: Dictionary, Legal.
thumb through somethingand leaf through something
to look through a book, magazine, or newspaper, without reading it carefully. I've only thumbed through this book, but it looks very interesting. I leafed through a magazine while waiting to see the doctor.
To go through some reading material quickly or superficially, turning from page to page with or as if with the thumb: I thumbed through the directory for my dentist's phone number.