put your finger on something

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 your finger on something

COMMON If you put your finger on the reason for something or the truth about something, you say what it is exactly. He put his finger on a major weakness of its education policy when he said that the country needed improved education, not perpetual experimentation. It was Dr. Stockton who had put his finger on the truth. Note: If you cannot say exactly the reason for something or the truth about something, you can say that you can't put your finger on it. Had they known each other as children? At school? She couldn't put her finger on it.
See also: finger, on, put, something
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