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brass knuckles

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noun
  1. a band of metal with four holes that fits over the upper fingers and that is gripped when a fist is made, used for increasing the effect of a blow with the fist.
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Origin of brass knuckles

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for brass knuckles

Historical Examples

  • The Raiders were plentifully provided with the usual weapons of their class—slung-shots and brass-knuckles.

    Andersonville, complete

    John McElroy

  • The Raiders were plentifully provided with the usual weapons of their class--slung-shots and brass-knuckles.