At Your Fingertips

Meaning of Idiom ‘At Your (or one’s) Fingertips’

When something is at your fingertips it is in a convenient place, is easy to find or is readily available or accessible; easy to get and to use immediately. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,3McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013.,4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Usage

This idiom is often used to refer to information that is readily accessible but can refer to many other things. It is used in the literal sense of being able to find and use something very easily and quickly. In regards to information, it may refer figuratively to having the information in one’s head.

Examples:

“If you want to win a debate, you need all the relevant statistics at your fingertips.”

“I can’t believe you live in such a small apartment, said Vicky.” “I like it, replied Richard. “Everything I need is at my fingertips.”

“I like luxury cars because all the controls are at my fingertips.”

Origins

Used since the second half of the 1800’s.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
3. McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.