knuckle

noun
knuck·​le | \ ˈnə-kəl \

Definition of knuckle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

knuckle

verb
knuckled; knuckling\ ˈnə-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of knuckle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to press or rub with the knuckles

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Other Words from knuckle

Noun

knuckled \ ˈnə-​kəld \ adjective

Examples of knuckle in a Sentence

Noun

She rapped her knuckles on the table.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Without these people who have always been mine right down to their knuckles. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, "I Raised Four Sons as a Single Mom. Now That They're Grown, I'm Off to Europe.," 17 Dec. 2018 My Greek teacher, a scholastic named McGoldrick, smoked unfiltered Camels down to his yellow-stained knuckles. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Sexual Revolution and the Church," 24 Oct. 2018 My bedside table is wood, and my knuckles rapped it with each new terrifying thought. Galadriel Watson, Discover Magazine, "Why We Feel the Need to Knock On Wood," 17 Oct. 2018 Divisive issues have generated other white-knuckle moments in the year since. Washington Post, "Friend or foe at NATO? Who knows when Trump comes to dinner," 10 July 2018 Weighing less than one ounce, the knuckle-size light takes up very little room in your pack. Graham Averill, Outside Online, "Emergency Gear that Should Live in Your Daypack," 9 July 2018 Knotted, smooth maroon knuckles of Manzanita grew on either side of the trail, with iridescent green leaves. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "A few days in the desert (with lots of sunscreen) is the perfect break from an Alaska winter," 22 Mar. 2018 That bare knuckles approach could appeal to blue collar workers looking for a Democrat to represent them. cleveland.com, "Rating the 11 Ohio gubernatorial candidates' chances at winning," 7 Feb. 2018 There's no risk of even a skinned knuckle before your driver is back out. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This isn’t a game: We try out a professional driver-in-the-loop simulator," 9 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Griezmann's shot from about 25 yards away knuckled away from Muslera at the last moment and the ball went off his hands and into the goal in the 61st minute. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Uruguay goalie's blunder gifts a goal to France at World Cup," 6 July 2018 State after state punted on the opportunity to become the first to regulate before Wyoming, well, knuckled up. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Fight club: Legalized bare-knuckle boxing may be next big show in ring," 4 June 2018 As if love’s knuckled fist had slipped into a white glove, for five months hardly a cross word passed between us. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "A Time To Die And Be Reborn: Poems By Priscilla Wear Ellsworth," 19 Apr. 2018 Their relationship began last May with a white-knuckled, jaw-clenching, six-Mississippi handshake in Brussels. Ashley Parker, courant.com, "'Playful dominance': The touchy-feely relationship between Trump and Macron," 25 Apr. 2018 Also, despite what your grandmother says, there isn't any conclusive evidence on risk of arthritis tied to knuckle cracking. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Why do knuckles crack? The answer might be in a mathematical equation," 30 Mar. 2018 So far, Green has said nothing so bare-knuckled, at least in public. George Russell, Fox News, "Trump Administration moves to get tougher on sexual abuse by humanitarian workers," 9 Mar. 2018 Outside his window, the azure waters of the Pacific knuckled on the white sands of Malibu. Jeff Stein, Newsweek, "Did 'The Post' Get It Wrong? How the Cover-Up of a Green Beret Murder Led to the Pentagon Papers," 31 Jan. 2018 The prosecutors tore up the language and the law trying to prove that the senator was knuckling the guy who was eagerly purchasing his influence with both hands. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Where Is the Integrity?," 13 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knuckle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of knuckle

Noun

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

Verb

1740, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for knuckle

Noun

Middle English knokel; akin to Middle High German knöchel knuckle

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Dictionary Entries near knuckle

knub

knubbly

knubby

knuckle

knuckleball

knucklebone

knuckle down

Statistics for knuckle

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for knuckle

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

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More Definitions for knuckle

knuckle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of knuckle

: any one of the thick, bony parts (called joints) in your fingers

: a piece of meat that includes a joint from the leg of an animal

knuckle

noun
knuck·​le | \ ˈnə-kəl \

Kids Definition of knuckle

: the rounded lump formed by the ends of two bones (as of a finger) where they come together in a joint

knuckle

noun
knuck·​le | \ ˈnək-əl \

Medical Definition of knuckle 

1a : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on knuckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knuckle

Spanish Central: Translation of knuckle

Nglish: Translation of knuckle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knuckle for Arabic Speakers

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