Share this entry

white-knuckle Syllabification: white-knuck·le
Pronunciation: /ˌ(h)wītˈnək(ə)l/

Definition of white-knuckle in English:


(Especially of a vehicle, boat, or airplane ride) causing excitement or tension.
Example sentences
  • As a result, the simple roundabout - a peculiarly British invention that works on the principle of courtesy - has become a white-knuckle ride of fear.
  • The park's new white-knuckle ride, the Cliff Hanger, has been the centre of a row in recent months because of its colour scheme.
  • Once he has entered into his position, the white-knuckle ride and nail biting begins.


1970s: with reference to the effect caused by gripping tightly to steady oneself.

Definition of white-knuckle in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...