knuckle down

Idioms & Phrases

knuckle down

  1. Apply oneself seriously to some task or goal, as in The professor insisted that we knuckle down and get our papers in by Friday. Both this term and the rhyming synonym buckle down date from the 1860s, but the precise allusion in either is unclear.

  2. See knuckle under.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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