Adjective "knuckle" definition and examples

(Knuckle may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


A part of a finger at a joint where the bone is near the surface, especially where the finger joins the hand.
  1. 'The knuckle of his index finger poked my bare hip, which I hadn't realized was bare until that point.'
  2. 'Brian rubbed his thumb back and forth over my index finger knuckle, tickling me a little bit.'
  3. 'The captain nodded, rubbing the knuckle of his index finger over his lower lip in a thoughtful manner.'
  4. 'He cracked his knuckles and his fingers became blurs over the keyboard.'
  5. 'Her hand was soft and I ran my finger along her pale knuckles.'
  6. 'Today there's only a miniscule red patch next to the knuckle of my ring finger which isn't even sore.'
  7. 'If you had a sore on a joint or a knuckle, you would know that constant bending would break the sore open and prevent its healing quickly.'
  8. 'These darkening and tiny bumps are also seen on the knuckles of the fingers.'
  9. 'Pinch the webbing between your thumb and index finger and push toward the bottom knuckle of your index finger.'
  10. 'He held my hands tightly, digging his fingers into my knuckles.'
  11. 'I'm still not sure what ‘capilutes of lamb’ are, but can vouch for the pork knuckle which one of my companions ordered.'
  12. 'There are also culinary records indicating its use for pickled pigs feet, breaded veal knuckles, and sweet breads.'
  13. 'Clams, mussels, and lobster knuckles arrived in a purée of cauliflower with drops of beet and parsley juice and light curry.'


Rub or press (something, especially the eyes) with the knuckles.
  1. 'I knuckle my eyes and peer at Christian from behind my fingers.'
  2. '‘Aye, aye, sir,’ they said knuckling their foreheads.'

More definitions

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.

5. brass knuckles.

6. a cylindrical projecting part on a hinge, through which an axis or pin passes; the joint of a hing

More examples(as adjective)

"criminals can be knuckle down to anyones."

"criminals can be knuckle."


Middle English knokel (originally denoting the rounded shape when a joint such as the elbow or knee is bent), from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch knökel, diminutive of knoke ‘bone’. In the mid 18th century the verb knuckle (down) expressed setting the knuckles down to shoot the taw in a game of marbles, hence the notion of applying oneself with concentration.


knuckle down
knuckle under