knuckleball

noun
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

Other Words from knuckleball

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

Examples of knuckleball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Blandino also has a nasty knuckleball, as Slater well knows after serving as Blandino’s catch partner as a freshman at Stanford. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Mar. 2022 During a throwing session amid his first spring training with the San Diego Padres last season, Matt Waldron decided on a whim to change things up and toss a knuckleball. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Apr. 2022 So of course when Slater faced Blandino at that game at Cincinnati last year, Blandino nearly hit him with a knuckleball before Slater grounded out to short, ending a scoreless inning for Blandino. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Mar. 2022 The entire point of a knuckleball is to keep the ball from spinning. BostonGlobe.com, 26 June 2021 Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays as a conventional pitcher, he was released after the 2011 season and began an odyssey into independent ball, throwing the knuckleball to stand out. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, 23 June 2021 Chris Nowlin would love to teach you how to throw a knuckleball. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 Turns out infielder Danny Mendick, who played at UMass Lowell, can throw a decent knuckleball. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Apr. 2021 And for those few seconds, nothing in the whole darn world can touch a knuckleball. Andy Nesbitt, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of knuckleball

1907, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About knuckleball

Time Traveler for knuckleball

Time Traveler

The first known use of knuckleball was in 1907

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near knuckleball

knuckle

knuckleball

knucklebone

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for knuckleball

Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Knuckleball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knuckleball. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on knuckleball

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about knuckleball

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!