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Pronunciation: fing'ger-print


  1. An impression of the inked bulb of the distal phalanx of a finger, showing the configuration of the surface ridges, used as a means of identification.
  2. Term, sometimes used informally, referring to any analytic method applicable to making fine distinctions between similar compounds or gel patterns, the pattern of an infrared absorption curve or of two-dimensional paper chromatograph.
  3. In genetics, the analysis of DNA fragments to determine the identity of a person or the paternity of a child.

Synonym(s): genetic fingerprint

See Also: dermatoglyphics, Galton system of classification of fingerprints

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.