knucklebone

noun

knuck·​le·​bone ˈnək-əl-ˌbōn How to pronounce knucklebone (audio)
1
: a bone (such as a metatarsus or metacarpus of a sheep) used in games and formerly in divination
2
knucklebones plural in form but singular in construction : a game played with knucklebones or jacks

Examples of knucklebone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But scientists still debate whether our close human relatives actually carved the knucklebone for a more practical purpose. Matthew Twombly, National Geographic, 8 Dec. 2021 To win, players raced their opponent to the opposite end of the board, moving pieces according to knucklebone dice rolls. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Feb. 2020 As a onetime priest, McLaughlin would have undoubtedly understood the desire to possess a relic from a venerated figure, like a saint’s knucklebone or a sliver of the true cross. John Kelly, Washington Post, 4 June 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of knucklebone was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near knucklebone

Cite this Entry

“Knucklebone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knucklebone. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on knucklebone

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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