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knock on wood

Definition of knock on wood


  1. —used often while hitting or touching something made of wood as a way to prevent bad luck after having just said that something good has happened, that a situation is good, etc. <I've never broken a bone, knock on wood.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to strike something with a sharp blow

    :  to collide with something

    :  bustle

  1. :  a sharp blow :  rap, hit

    :  a severe misfortune or hardship

    :  setback, reversal

  1. :  violently mad

  1. :  woodland

    :  the hard fibrous substance consisting basically of xylem that makes up the greater part of the stems, branches, and roots of trees or shrubs beneath the bark and is found to a limited extent in herbaceous plants

    :  wood suitable or prepared for some use (as burning or building)

  1. :  wooden

    :  suitable for cutting or working with wood

    :  living, growing, or existing in woods

  1. :  to gather or take on wood

    :  to cover with a growth of trees or plant with trees

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up knock on wood? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

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