put one's finger on

(redirected from lay one's finger on)

put (one's) finger on (something)

1. To recognize or recall fully, clearly, or correctly. (Usually used in the negative.) I can't put my finger on what this is reminding me of. There's something off about her story, but I can't put my finger on it.
2. To recognize, identify, or determine the fundamental aspects of something. Well, I think you put your finger on it when you brought up the issue of tax increases for lower earners.
See also: finger, on, put

put one's finger on

Also, lay one's finger on.
1. Identify, as in I can't put my finger on the man in that photo. [Late 1800s]
See also: finger, on, put