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knuckle

[nuhk-uh l] /ˈnʌk əl/
noun
1.
a joint of a finger, especially one of the articulations of a metacarpal with a phalanx.
2.
the rounded prominence of such a joint when the finger is bent.
3.
a joint of meat, consisting of the parts about the carpal or tarsal joint of a quadruped.
4.
an angle or protrusion at the intersection of two members or surfaces, as in the timbers of a ship or in a roof.
6.
a cylindrical projecting part on a hinge, through which an axis or pin passes; the joint of a hinge.
7.
(in a wire mesh) a bend in a wire crossing another wire.
8.
(on a chair arm) one of the ridges left at the front end by longitudinal flutes carved to accommodate the fingers.
9.
Nautical. a pronounced edge formed by a change in the form of the shell of a hull.
verb (used with object), knuckled, knuckling.
10.
to rub or press with the knuckles.
11.
Marbles. to shoot (a marble) from the thumb and forefinger.
Verb phrases
12.
knuckle down,
  1. to apply oneself vigorously and earnestly; become serious:
    Just knuckle down for an hour or so and finish the work.
  2. Also, knuckle under. to submit; yield.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English knokel (akin to Dutch kneukel, German Knöchel), diminutive of a word represented by Dutch knok, German Knochen bone; see -le
Related forms
knuckly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for knuckle
  • In short two legs instead of four or two legs and knuckle walking even puts us at a disadvantage.
  • Dew on the knuckle those familiar verbal tones and inflections take on a charged resonance missing from workaday locutions.
  • It is done when you rasp it on the bottom with your knuckle and it makes a distinct hollow sound.
  • While bikers white-knuckle it, guides leapfrog ahead to pitch tents and prepare a barbecued salmon dinner.
  • The suds flow freely and the pork knuckle is the house specialty.
  • Imagine a stylus barely longer than the first knuckle of your thumb.
  • Metal bars cantilever over his shoulders and down along his arms, terminating in menacing, knuckle-dragging hooks.
  • When you tried to pick them up with your chopsticks, they wriggled up them nearly to your knuckle.
  • For every knuckle-walker capable of tool use, there must have been someone who kept hitting his thumb with his hammer.
  • He was a meat-eating, knuckle-dragging gladiator, and the company was frothing with anticipation at the clash.
British Dictionary definitions for knuckle

knuckle

/ˈnʌkəl/
noun
1.
a joint of a finger, esp that connecting a finger to the hand
2.
a joint of veal, pork, etc, consisting of the part of the leg below the knee joint, often used in making stews or stock
3.
the cylindrical portion of a hinge through which the pin passes
4.
an angle joint between two members of a structure
5.
(informal) near the knuckle, approaching indecency
verb
6.
(transitive) to rub or press with the knuckles
7.
(intransitive) to keep the knuckles on the ground while shooting a marble
Derived Forms
knuckly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: related to Middle High German knöchel, Middle Low German knoke bone, Dutch knok
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for knuckle
n.

mid-14c., knokel "finger joint; any joint of the body, especially a knobby one; morbid lump or swelling;" common Germanic (cf. Middle Low German knökel, Middle Dutch cnockel, German knöchel), literally "little bone," a diminutive of Proto-Germanic root *knuck- "bone" (cf. German Knochen "bone).

As a verb from 1740, originally in the game of marbles. To knuckle down "apply oneself earnestly" is 1864 in American English, extended from marbles (putting a knuckle on the ground in assuming the hand position preliminary to shooting); to knuckle under "submit, give in" is first recorded 1740, supposedly from the former more general sense of "knuckle" and here meaning "knee," hence "to kneel." The face-busting knuckle-duster is from 1858 (a duster was a type of protective coat worn by workmen).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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knuckle in Medicine

knuckle knuck·le (nŭk'əl)
n.

  1. The prominence of the dorsal aspect of a joint of a finger, especially of one of the joints that connect the fingers to the hand.

  2. A rounded protuberance formed by the bones in a joint.

  3. A kink or loop of intestine, as in a hernia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for knuckle

knuckle

Related Terms

white knuckle


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with knuckle
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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