verb (used with object), knuck·led, knuck·ling.
- to apply oneself vigorously and earnestly; become serious: Just knuckle down for an hour or so and finish the work.
- Also knuckle under.to submit; yield.
Origin of knuckle
Related Words for knuckledefer, surrender, agree, acknowledge, quit, perish, wilt, buckle, yield, bow, cease, capitulate, relinquish, cede, renounce, waive, leave, concede, submit, abandon
Examples from the Web for knuckle
Contemporary Examples of knuckle
As I rub my left hand, I notice a small bruise around the knuckle of my pinkie finger.After War: Anger, Panic, and Sometimes Peace
June 26, 2013
The painting, created between 1500 and 1525, features a wealthy woman in a bejeweled collar, also wearing a first knuckle ring.First Knuckle Rings, Popular During the Renaissance, Return to Fashion
Misty White Sidell
January 31, 2013
“Being new in town, it was really important to focus and knuckle down,” she said of her decision to focus on acting.‘Game of Thrones’: Esmé Bianco Talks About Ros, Sexposition, Nudity, and More
May 18, 2012
He is tough, a Scottish bruiser when it comes to a knuckle fight.Florida on the Thames
May 7, 2010
Can we tighten our belts, knuckle down and use that knowledge that our forefathers and mothers gave us?Meltdown on the Message Boards
The Daily Beast
October 10, 2008
Historical Examples of knuckle
Also with knuckle of veal, and with calf's head boiled plain.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
He now presented his knuckle to the key and received a strong spark.
A knuckle requires more boiling in proportion to its weight, than any other joint, to render the gristle soft and tender.
Yes, he wants me to strengthen a knuckle—he's spoken considerable about it.The Flying Mercury
Eleanor M. Ingram
He figured me out as the prodigal son, and wa'n't goin' to knuckle.They of the High Trails
Word Origin for knuckle
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).
In addition to the idioms beginning with knuckle
- knuckle down
- knuckle under
- rap someone's knuckles