Definition of white-knuckle in English:

Share this entry



1(Especially of a fairground ride) causing extreme excitement or fear.
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.
1.1 (also white-knuckled) Displaying or characterized by extreme excitement or fear: a succession of white-knuckled passengers got out of the plane
More example sentences
  • The driver was getting white-knuckled and agitated.
  • A couple of white-knuckled tourists, fearfully working their way up the cables, stare in amazement as he saunters past.
  • But then I tuned in one time and my white-knuckled fingers never let go.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: white-knuckle

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.