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!
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.
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.