Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: white knuckle


Alternative forms[edit]


  • (file)


white-knuckle (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Causing fear, excitement, apprehension, suspense, or nervousness.
    • 2010 July 16, Colleen Long and Harry R. Weber, "BP capped well holding nearly a day into new fix", Associated Press wire:
      BP said its capped-off well appeared to be holding steady Friday morning, almost midway into a white-knuckle waiting period in which engineers watched the pressure gauges for signs of a leak.
    • 2009 November 27, “Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child has 'best guitar riff'”, in BBC[1]:
      "No surprise given both Bellamy and White share - or have inherited - Hendrix's unique blend of experimental instincts and white-knuckle showmanship," said Mr Goldsmith.

Derived terms[edit]



white-knuckle (third-person singular simple present white-knuckles, present participle white-knuckling, simple past and past participle white-knuckled)

  1. (transitive) To endure despite feeling terror, fear, apprehension, anxiety, discomfort, or torment.
    • 2010, Tanya Ebert, Mystical Puzzle, page 24:
      The rest of the drive home I white knuckled it.
    • 2017, Susan Mallery, Maisey Yates, Baby, It's Christmas & Hold Me, Cowboy:
      “I white-knuckled it down there. Went as fast as I could. I didn't tell anyone I was going. When I got there, they wouldn't let me in. Because I wasn't family.”
    • 2021 April 25, Erin Griffith, “We’re All Crypto People Now”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      There’s an industry term for white-knuckling it through crypto’s wild volatility without selling: “hodl.”