thumb your nose at someone

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, thumb