thumb (one's) nose at (someone or something)

(redirected from thumb their noses at)

thumb (one's) nose at (someone or something)

1. Literally, to perform a rude gesture in which one touches their nose with their thumb in order to express contempt or a lack of respect. Did that guy really just thumb his nose at me? Do people still do that?
2. To openly display contempt or an intentional lack of respect toward someone or something. Don't thumb your nose at the boss if you want to keep your job!
See also: nose, thumb

thumb one's nose at someone or something

 
1. Lit. to show a sign of derision at someone or something by placing the thumb to the side of the nose. (Often while wiggling the other fingers of the hand.) Don't thumb your nose at me unless you want a fight. Fred thumbed his nose at the car as it drove off.
2. Fig. to dismiss someone or something as worthless, verbally. Walter thumbed his nose at Fred and asked the gang to send someone else to do the job. She thumbed her nose at the whole idea.
See also: nose, thumb

thumb one's nose

Express scorn or ridicule. For example, I'm sure the members of the school committee thumb their noses at any suggestion we make . This expression alludes to the traditional gesture of contempt, that is, placing the thumb under the nose and wiggling the fingers. [c. 1900]
See also: nose, thumb

thumb your nose at someone

COMMON If you thumb your nose at someone or something powerful, you show your lack of respect for them. Some of these repeat offenders are simply laughing at authority and thumbing their noses at the court. Workers are laid off while bosses are given enormous pay increases, thus thumbing their noses at both employees and consumers. Note: You can describe this behaviour as nose-thumbing. Some have dismissed the gesture as no more than adolescent nose-thumbing. Note: To thumb your nose at someone literally means to make a rude gesture by placing the end of your thumb on the end of your nose, spreading out your fingers, and wiggling them. Compare with cock a snook at someone.
See also: nose, someone, thumb

thumb your nose at

show disdain or contempt for. Compare with cock a snook (at snook).
See also: nose, thumb

thumb your ˈnose at somebody/something

show that you have no respect for somebody/something, sometimes by making a rude sign with your thumb on the end of your nose: A photograph shows one of the crowd thumbing his nose at the speaker.

thumb (one's) nose

To express scorn or ridicule, often by placing the thumb on the nose and wiggling the fingers.
See also: nose, thumb
References in periodicals archive ?
It never ceases to amaze me why managers thumb their noses at a trail which leads to Wembley and then to Europe.
They can thumb their noses at their constituents as soon as they have found out where they have to sit, and then they take as much as they possibly can of their constituents' hard earned cash, and feel very safe and secure until they have to put themselves forward for re-election, safe in the knowledge that all their party activists will keep them safe so long as they vote as their party instructs them.
We don't want money wasted on prosecuting "easy targets" while the real misery-makers are allowed, once again, to thumb their noses at the law.
Publishing editors, presidents and executives at such groups trade stories and strategies about the challenges of digital technology, which allows entities to publish, but they thumb their noses at the peer review and standards required by an AAUP affiliate.
Until recently, gangsters have been able to thumb their noses at real justice.
Before they started to receive serious criticism in 1999, the GSEs, and particularly Fannie, could thumb their noses at their critics.
So the Communists, when they see American planes coming, merely pull aside until they are 205 feet from the road, and figuratively thumb their noses at the helpless American pilots.
Gray said some legislators wanted to thumb their noses at the federal government for forcing the issue but backed off because of the financial implications.
'The courts currently lack the power to remand them to custody unless they commit a more serious offence - effectively allowing some persistent young offenders to thumb their noses at the law,' said the Home Secretary Jack Straw yesterday.
WASHINGTON The studios had a relatively easy time in last summer's DeCSS trial in New York portraying the creators and defenders of the DVD hacking program as a bunch of geeky, adolescent troublemakers out to thumb their noses at the law.
The home side, heavily criticised for their recent failure in firepower, took only nine minutes to thumb their noses at those critics - but were forced later in the day to hang on for the full points.
While many restaurants thumb their noses at reports of unhealthy restaurant food, some chains and smaller eateries are trying to help their health-conscious patrons.
And, surprisingly enough, more and more people who say they can't break away from General Motors because of the wife and kids really have enough capital to thumb their noses at the boss.
The ruling means civil servants will hold on to the outdated days off as they thumb their noses at Government plans to save almost EUR5million.
By the mid-'60s, if anything, it seemed that even most whites I knew in West Virginia were relieved to thumb their noses at the silliness of segregation, even to mock it.