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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 of knuckle
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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for knuckled
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Carnaby knuckled Dale's head as he asked him if he called that a switch.

    The Crofton Boys Harriet Martineau
  • This threat had the desired effect: Horncastle knuckled down as if by magic.

    My Friend Smith Talbot Baines Reed
  • They swore they would take vengeance on him, but they knuckled under whenever they seemed to have a chance.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • The plain was well-grassed, as high as Ling's knuckled knee.

    The Devil's Asteroid Manly Wade Wellman
  • And he was sick of British women, with their knuckled hands, their splayed feet.

    The Wind Bloweth Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
  • Bitzer knuckled his forehead again, and again begged pardon.

    Hard Times Charles Dickens
  • So you have brought the mighty Bruin to his senses, and he has knuckled down to the Lion.

  • Mr. Harthouse inclined his head in assent, and Bitzer knuckled his forehead.

    Hard Times Charles Dickens
  • The rapping of his knuckled fist on the tabletop alongside him broke in sharply on the clamour.

    Old Judge Priest Irvin S. Cobb
  • "Then you'll be knuckled;" and knuckled they were, according to ancient experience.

    Stalky & Co. Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for knuckled

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 knuckled

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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knuckled 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 knuckled

knuckled

Related Terms

white-knuckled

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 knuckled
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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