From Middle English knokel (“finger joint”), not attested in Old English, likely from Proto-Germanic *knukilaz (“knuckle, knot, bump”), as *knukô (“bone, joint”) + *-ilaz (diminutive suffix). Cognate with Dutch knokkel (“knuckle”), Low German Knökel (“knuckle”), German Knöchel (“ankle, knuckle”), Old Norse knykill.
(def. 1) of a human hand, circled in red
(def. 3) from Schweizerhaus, Vienna
knuckle (plural knuckles)
- 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.
- With weary knuckles on thy brim she kneeled sadly down.
- (obsolete) The joint of a plant.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
- (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
- (skiing, snowboarding) The rounded point where a flat changes to a slope on a piste.
Terms derived from “knuckle”
joint of the finger
- Arabic: بُرْجُمَة f (burjuma), مَفْصِل m (mafṣil)
- Egyptian Arabic: عقلة f (ʿuqla)
- Armenian: please add this translation if you can
- Burmese: please add this translation if you can
- Catalan: artell (ca) m, nus (ca) m
- Cantonese: 指關節, 指关节 (zi2 gwaan1 zit3)
- Mandarin: 指關節 (zh), 指关节 (zh) (zhǐguānjié)
- Danish: kno (da) c
- Dutch: knokkel (nl) m
- Esperanto: artiko (eo)
- Finnish: rysty, rystynen (fi)
- French: articulation du doigt f, articulation (fr) f, jointure du doigt f
- Galician: cotobelo (gl) m, cotomelo (gl) m, coteno (gl) m, nocello (gl) m, nortello (gl) m, artello (gl) m
- Georgian: please add this translation if you can
- German: Fingerknöchel (de) m
- Greek: please add this translation if you can
- Ancient Greek: please add this translation if you can
- Hebrew: please add this translation if you can
- Icelandic: kjúka (is) f
- Italian: nocca (it) f, giuntura (it) f
- Japanese: 指関節 (ゆびかんせつ, yubikansetsu)
- Khmer: ក្រញរ (km) (krɑɲɑɑ)
- Korean: (please verify) 손가락마디 (songarak-madi)
- Latin: (please verify) articulus digiti m
- Macedonian: глужд m (glužd)
- Maori: monamona
- Middle High German: knöchel
- Mongolian: please add this translation if you can
- Nepali: please add this translation if you can
- Norwegian: knoke m
- Persian: مفصل (fa) (mafsal)
- Polish: kłykieć (pl) m
- Portuguese: nó (pt) m, junta dos dedos f
- Russian: суста́в па́льца m (sustáv pálʹca)
- Scottish Gaelic: rùdan m
- Serbo-Croatian: zglob (sh)
- Spanish: nudillo (es) m
- Swedish: knoge (sv)
- Tagalog: buko
- Thai: please add this translation if you can
- Tibetan: please add this translation if you can
- Vietnamese: please add this translation if you can
- Welsh: migwrn (cy) m
- White Hmong: please add this translation if you can
- Yiddish: קנעכל n (knekhl)
- Zhuang: please add this translation if you can
knuckle (third-person singular simple present knuckles, present participle knuckling, simple past and past participle knuckled)
- To apply pressure, or rub or massage with one's knuckles.
- He knuckled the sleep from his eyes.