knuck·​le·​ball | \ ˈnə-kəl-ˌbȯl How to pronounce knuckleball (audio) \

Definition of knuckleball

: a slow baseball pitch that moves erratically and unpredictably and that is thrown with little spin by gripping the ball with the knuckles or the tips of the fingers pressed against the top

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Other Words from knuckleball

knuckleballer \ ˈnə-​kəl-​ˌbȯ-​lər How to pronounce knuckleballer (audio) \ noun

Examples of knuckleball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Feeney’s first snap to quarterback Rivers in the shotgun formation was a bit of a knuckleball, and some of his snaps weren’t as crisp as Pouncey’s usually are. Los Angeles Times, "Chargers’ Austin Ekeler fumbles another chance to score touchdown just before end zone," 6 Oct. 2019 Foster said his knowledge of the knuckleball — next to nothing — is indicative of its increasing rarity. Matthew Gutierrez, The Denver Post, "The knuckleball is quickly going extinct in MLB," 15 Aug. 2019 The teenage sensation took his goal wonderfully, collecting a pass on the edge of the box and driving a knuckleball shot beyond Rimando., "MLS All-Stars 0-3 Atletico Madrid: Player Ratings for Wednesday's Spectacle in Orlando," 1 Aug. 2019 This was a solid strike, causing the shot to wobble knuckleball style. Frank Dell’apa,, "MLS season could have a Hollywood ending for LAFC," 26 Aug. 2019 Feierabend gets at a number of the factors that endanger the knuckleball. Matthew Gutierrez, The Denver Post, "The knuckleball is quickly going extinct in MLB," 15 Aug. 2019 Bouton used that knuckleball in 1969 with the expansion Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Jim Bouton Opened Up the Major Leagues to Everyone," 11 July 2019 Kern lists his pitches as a two-seam and four-seam fastball plus a knuckleball. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Never-say-die Bayside 11s overcome first-night Section 3 loss to clinch trip to state championship," 10 July 2019 Smith and Sakib also studied the aerodynamics of knuckleballs with their apparatus and found that the flow will separate near the back of the ball any time the seam is located there mid-flight. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Physics can explain the fastball’s unexpected twist, new study finds," 23 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knuckleball.' 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 knuckleball

1907, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for knuckleball

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The first known use of knuckleball was in 1907

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Cite this Entry

“Knuckleball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce knuckleball (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of knuckleball

baseball : a pitch that is thrown with very little spin by holding the ball with the knuckles or fingertips

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knuckleball Encyclopedia article about knuckleball

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