thumb (one's) nose at (someone or something)(redirected from thumb their noses at)
thumb (one's) nose at (someone or something)
To react to someone or something with a lack of respect. The phrase originated from a rude gesture in which one would touch their nose with their thumb. 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.