American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The prominence of the dorsal aspect of a joint of a finger, especially of one of the joints connecting the fingers to the hand.
- n. A rounded protuberance formed by the bones in a joint.
- n. A cut of meat centering on the carpal or tarsal joint, as of a pig.
- n. The part of a hinge through which the pin passes.
- n. A sharp angle formed by the meeting of two surfaces, especially two ship's timbers.
- n. Brass knuckles.
- v. To press, rub, or hit with the knuckles.
- v. To shoot (a marble) with the thumb over the bent forefinger.
- knuckle down To apply oneself earnestly to a task.
- knuckle under To yield to pressure; give in.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The joint of a finger, especially that between the metacarpal bone and the first phalanx.
- n. The knee or knee-joint.
- n. A joint, especially of veal, consisting of the part of the leg called the knee. It is the part of the animal which corresponds to the hock of a horse, or the human heel, together with more or less of the leg above this joint.
- n. The joint of a plant; a node.
- n. A joint of cylindrical form, with a pin as axis, as that by which the straps of a hinge are fastened together.
- n. In ship-building, an acute angle on some of the timbers.
- n. plural Pieces of metal, usually brass (hence specifically known as brass knuckles), worn by lawless persons over the knuckles to protect them in striking a blow, and also to make a blow more effective. See knuckle-duster.
- To touch or strike with the knuckle; pommel.
- To bend the knuckles; hold the knuckles (that is, the hand) close to the ground, in playing marbles: usually with down. A player is required to knuckle down in order to keep him from gaining undue advantage by “hunching” nearer the mark.
- To apply one's self earnestly, as to a task; engage vigorously, as in work.
- To submit, as in a contest; give up; yield.
- n. A sharply bent loop, as of intestine, especially when imprisoned, as in a hernia.
- n. In mech., the swinging leaf or hook used for the coupling device in certain automatic car-couplings, particularly in the Janney or M. C. B. (master car-builders') type. A hole is usually provided in the knuckle so that the common link-coupling may be used with it.
- To apply one's self earnestly.
- n. Any of the joints between the phalanges of the fingers.
- n. by extension A mechanical joint.
- n. A cut of meat.
- n. sports, billiards, snooker, pool The curved part of the cushion at the entrance to the pockets on a cue sports table.
- v. To apply pressure, or rub or massage with one's knuckles.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The joint of a finger, particularly when made prominent by the closing of the fingers.
- n. The kneejoint, or middle joint, of either leg of a quadruped, especially of a calf; -- formerly used of the kneejoint of a human being.
- n. obsolete The joint of a plant.
- n. (Mech.) The joining parts of a hinge through which the pin or rivet passes; a knuckle joint.
- n. (Shipbuilding) A convex portion of a vessel's figure where a sudden change of shape occurs, as in a canal boat, where a nearly vertical side joins a nearly flat bottom.
- n. Slang. A contrivance, usually of brass or iron, and furnished with points, worn to protect the hand, to add force to a blow, and to disfigure the person struck; -- called also
knuckle duster, knucklesor brass knuckles.
- v. To yield; to submit; -- used with down, to, or under.
- v. rare To beat with the knuckles; to pummel.
- n. a joint of a finger when the fist is closed
- v. press or rub with the knuckles
- v. shoot a marble while keeping one's knuckles on the ground
- From the diminutive of a word for bone, found in German Knochen (Wiktionary)
- Middle English knokel. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Our "humble pie" is their "humble sandwich": people do actually use the expression "knuckle sandwich" to describe a punch here, and Obama's deal to raise the debt ceiling was unanimously panned as "a sugar-coated Satan sandwich".”
“Though it was well after midnight, everyone was hustled onto a bus for what she describes as a knuckle-biting three-hour trip to their scheduled destination.”
“Of course they did not use what we call knuckle-dusters, nor did they even double their fists, except when moving round each other, and as "gloves" were unknown, they struck out with the hands half open, for they had no wish to bleed each other's noses or black each other's eyes for mere amusement.”
“I rarely write anything out longhand anymore, but the middle finger of my left hand still has a life-long callous alongside the top knuckle from a pen or pencil grinding into it. stennieville fjpoblam”
“By walking upright over four million years ago, the earliest hominids were already on an evolutionary track separate from even chimps and gorillas, our nearest genetic cousins, who locomote with a different kind of gait known as knuckle-walking.”
“It's so much a caricature of the Ugly American stereotype, has so many gaping holes and plain knuckle-headed bias in it that we assumed it was a joke, but since no Gotcha post from him follows (his post is dated June 12th), we are forced to assume he meant it.”
“Although a knuckle is likely to carry a wound now and then, Jim keeps his hands very clean and the nails neatly trimmed.”
“In the hindquarter if the knuckle is limp, and the part under the kidney smells slightly disagreeable, avoid it.”
“(torn tissue in knuckle of left middle finger) is on the 15-day DL”
“[...] my non-halal post on the pork knuckle from the Bulgarian restaurant over at my other food [...]”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘knuckle’.
Words that end like pickle. Listed here because they're funny (because they end like pickle).
Ship builders' terms, from stem to stern (these words aren't on the list).
Verbs you can both "up" and "down".
Note: I prefer examples where the two senses aren't perfect opposites, e.g. warm up / warm down.
how knuckle is used
Interesting words appearing in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (1755). Some are interesting for their unfamiliarity, and some for the meanings then assigned by Johnson.
Okay, I admit it. I made a list of words my daughter knew when she was two years old.
Words for things both tangible and nonanthropic
favorite words. some are made up injokes between me and my husband or family.
Looking for tweets for knuckle.