white-knuck·​le | \ ˈ(h)wīt-ˈnə-kəl How to pronounce white-knuckle (audio) \
variants: or less commonly white-knuckled \ ˈ(h)wīt-​ˈnə-​kəld How to pronounce white-knuckled (audio) \

Definition of white-knuckle

: marked by, causing, or experiencing tense nervousness a white-knuckle ride on a roller coaster a white-knuckle passenger

Other Words from white-knuckle

white-knuckler \ ˈ(h)wīt-​ˈnə-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce white-knuckler (audio) \ noun, plural white-knucklers
The 65-mile speedway connecting Vancouver and the mountain town of Whistler was a white-knuckler for decades. — Christian DeBenedetti

First Known Use of white-knuckle

1872, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of white-knuckle was in 1872

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“White-knuckle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white-knuckle. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of white-knuckle

: showing, experiencing, or causing very strong feelings of fear, anxiety, etc.

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