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.
2. A cut of meat centering on the carpal or tarsal joint, as of a pig.
3. The part of a hinge through which the pin passes.
4. A sharp angle formed by the meeting of two surfaces, especially two ship's timbers.
5. knuckles Brass knuckles.
tr.v. knuck·led, knuck·ling, knuck·lesPhrasal Verbs:
1. To press, rub, or hit with the knuckles.
2. To shoot (a marble) with the thumb over the bent forefinger.
To apply oneself earnestly to a task.
To yield to pressure; give in.
[Middle English knokel.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.