- The definition of knuckle is a joint at the hand or toe that sticks out when you make a fist.
The joint in the middle of your finger that sticks forward when you make a fist is an example of the knuckle.
These knuckles show the signs of arthritis.
- a joint of the finger; esp., the joint connecting a finger to the rest of the hand
- the rounded knob formed by the bones at such a joint
- the knee or hock joint and nearby parts of a pig or other animal, used as food
- something resembling a knuckle, as any of the projecting, cylindrical parts through which a pin is passed to form a hinge
- ☆ brass knuckles
- Archit. the central joint in a gambrel or curb roof
Origin of knuckleMiddle English knokyl ; from or akin to Middle Dutch and amp; Middle Low German knokel, diminutive of knoke, bone ; from Indo-European an unverified form gneuĝ-: for Indo-European base see knot
- to rest the knuckles on the ground in shooting a marble
- to work energetically or seriously
- a. The prominence of the dorsal aspect of a joint of a finger, especially of one of the joints connecting the fingers to the hand.b. A rounded protuberance formed by the bones in a joint.
- A cut of meat centering on the carpal or tarsal joint, as of a pig.
- The part of a hinge through which the pin passes.
- A sharp angle formed by the meeting of two surfaces, especially two ship's timbers.
- knuckles Brass knuckles.
transitive verbknuck·led, knuck·ling, knuck·les
- To press, rub, or hit with the knuckles.
- To shoot (a marble) with the thumb over the bent forefinger.
Origin of knuckleMiddle English knokel.
- Any of the joints between the phalanges of the fingers.
- (by extension) A mechanical joint.
- A cut of meat.
- (sports, billiards, snooker, pool) The curved part of the cushion at the entrance to the pockets on a cue sports table.
- The kneejoint of a quadruped, especially of a calf; formerly used of the kneejoint of a human being.
- (shipbuilding) A convex portion of a vessel's figure where a sudden change of shape occurs, as in a canal boat, where a nearly vertical side joins a nearly flat bottom.
- A contrivance, usually of brass or iron, and furnished with points, worn to protect the hand, to add force to a blow, and to disfigure the person struck; a knuckle duster.
- brass knuckles
(third-person singular simple present knuckles, present participle knuckling, simple past and past participle knuckled)
From Middle English knokel (“finger joint”), ultimately from a diminutive of Proto-Germanic root *knuck- "bone". Cognate with Dutch knokkel (“knuckle”).