knuckle

1 of 2

noun

knuck·​le ˈnə-kəl How to pronounce knuckle (audio)
1
a
: the rounded prominence formed by the ends of the two adjacent bones at a joint
used especially of those at the joints of the fingers
b
: the joint of a knuckle
2
: a cut of meat consisting of the tarsal or carpal joint with the adjoining flesh
3
: something resembling a knuckle: such as
a(1)
: one of the joining parts of a hinge through which a pin or rivet passes
b
: the meeting of two surfaces at a sharp angle (as in a roof)
c
: a pivotal point
4
knuckles plural : a set of metal finger rings or guards attached to a transverse piece and worn over the front of the doubled fist for use as a weapon

called also brass knuckles

knuckled adjective

knuckle

2 of 2

verb

knuckled; knuckling ˈnə-k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce knuckle (audio)

intransitive verb

: to place the knuckles on the ground in shooting a marble

transitive verb

: to press or rub with the knuckles

Examples of knuckle in a Sentence

Noun She rapped her knuckles on the table.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In a letter dated Feb. 24 on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, Chrysler said the steering knuckles and part of the upper control arms — which are supposed to attach together — may in fact separate, which could cause the vehicles to lose control. Rob Wile, NBC News, 12 Mar. 2024 Schindler said the hospital-grade technology can instantly detect, especially in hard to clean areas such as beneath fingernails and in and around jewelry and knuckles, gut biome molecules that can transmit norovirus, E. coli, salmonella, Hepatitis A, Listeria, and other common illnesses. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 8 Mar. 2024 The broth is a days-long process that starts with simmering beef knuckle bones, chicken bones and short rib bones for hours. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 2024 Their options before that were: A. Grating spuds by hand, with unpleasant potential for knuckle scraping. Bonnie S. Benwick, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Video What is bitcoin, the world's most popular cryptocurrency Prosecutors said Jacobs bought military-style combat knives, metal knuckles, and throwing-stars in August 2021 that were found in her Upper East Side apartment. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, 15 Jan. 2024 Cracking your knuckles is bad and can lead to arthritis and other joint problems. Brittany Edelmann, Discover Magazine, 3 Jan. 2024 Go ahead and crack those knuckles and limber up the fingertips. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 24 Jan. 2024 Can-Am claims the finger knuckle drops torque on the front upper ball joint by 85 percent and allows for shock dampers to now mount directly to the lower arm. Michael Van Runkle, Robb Report, 1 Dec. 2023
Verb
But the underdog story, produced by Jordan Peele, also shows a bunch of new sides to Patel, who knuckles up as a legit action star and a guy who can make a movie that’s totally cool, occasionally amusing and impressively thoughtful. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2024 Jaedyn Shaw’s quick gather-and-strike from 21 yards knuckled a few feet above the ground toward the frame’s lower right corner. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Apr. 2023 If Aaron Rodgers caused Wisconsin sports fans to white knuckle their way through the NFL draft Thursday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo unintentionally flushed the rest of the color out their faces just 32 seconds into the Milwaukee Bucks’ game in Houston. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Apr. 2021 Bruins coach Jim Montgomery, a former NHL and AHL forward, knows how pucks can knuckle toward you. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Dec. 2022 Judging from their hands, arms, backs, hips and legs, these European apes didn’t knuckle-walk like a chimpanzee. Jeremy Desilva, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2022 Lacking the political courage to do what’s right, Democrats will have to white-knuckle it, hoping that there are enough Republicans in the House and Senate to get a deal done before the December 16 deadline. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2022 Before purchasing the pumpkin, rap on it with you knuckle in several spots to ensure there aren’t any soft spots, which indicate rot. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 11 Aug. 2021 Patients aren’t strapped to a hospital bed, white-knuckling it through withdrawal; instead, they are gradually weaned off the drugs outside the hospital over the course of months. Lindsay Beyerstein, The New Republic, 10 Mar. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'knuckle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English knokel; akin to Middle High German knöchel knuckle

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1740, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of knuckle was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near knuckle

Cite this Entry

“Knuckle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knuckle. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

knuckle

1 of 2 noun
knuck·​le ˈnək-əl How to pronounce knuckle (audio)
1
: the rounded lump formed by the ends of two bones where they come together in a joint
especially : such a lump at a finger joint
2
: any of several parts (as the hock or shank or a tarsal joint) of the leg of a four-footed animal as used for food

knuckle

2 of 2 verb
knuckled; knuckling ˈnək-(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce knuckle (audio)
: to place the knuckles on the ground in shooting a marble

Medical Definition

knuckle

noun
knuck·​le ˈnək-əl How to pronounce knuckle (audio)
1
a
: the rounded prominence formed by the ends of the two adjacent bones at a joint
used especially of those at the joints of the fingers
b
: the joint of a knuckle
2
: a sharply flexed loop of intestines incarcerated in a hernia

More from Merriam-Webster on knuckle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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