knuckle

[ nuhk-uh l ]
/ ˈnʌk əl /

noun

verb (used with object), knuck·led, knuck·ling.

to rub or press with the knuckles.
Marbles. to shoot (a marble) from the thumb and forefinger.

Verb Phrases

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

1325–75; Middle English knokel (akin to Dutch kneukel, German Knöchel), diminutive of a word represented by Dutch knok, German Knochen bone; see -le

Related forms

knuck·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for knuckle under (1 of 2)

knuckle under

verb

(intr, adverb) to give way under pressure or authority; yield

British Dictionary definitions for knuckle under (2 of 2)

knuckle

/ (ˈnʌkəl) /

noun


verb

(tr) to rub or press with the knuckles
(intr) to keep the knuckles on the ground while shooting a marble

Derived Forms

knuckly, adjective

Word Origin for knuckle

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

Medicine definitions for knuckle under

knuckle

[ nŭkəl ]

n.

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

Idioms and Phrases with knuckle under (1 of 2)

knuckle under

Also, knuckle down. Give in, acknowledge defeat, as in The dean refused to knuckle under to the graduate students' demands, or He was forced to knuckle down before their threats of violence. Presumably this idiom alludes to a kneeling position with hands on the ground, knuckles down. [Mid-1700s]


Idioms and Phrases with knuckle under (2 of 2)

knuckle

In addition to the idioms beginning with knuckle

  • knuckle down
  • knuckle under

also see:

  • rap someone's knuckles

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