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
Each of his three doubles came with a 102-mph exit velocity, but on three different type of pitches (sinker, slider, knuckle curve). Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 18 June 2024 The bone ring can be worn as easily on the finger as directly on the knuckle itself, the split bone ring in either orientation. Daisy Shaw-Ellis, Vogue, 14 June 2024
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 See all Example Sentences for knuckle 

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 13 Jul. 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

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