knack·​ered | \ ˈna-kərd How to pronounce knackered (audio) \

Definition of knackered


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Don't Get Tired Defining Knackered

Knackered is derived from the past participle of knacker, a slang term meaning "to kill," but also "to tire, exhaust, or wear out." The origins of the verb knacker are uncertain, but the word is perhaps related to an older noun knacker, which originally was used to indicate a harness-maker or saddlemaker, and later for buyers of worn-out animals (or their carcasses) and old structures. The origins of the noun knacker, however, remain obscure. Knackered is used on both sides of the Atlantic but is more common among British speakers.

Examples of knackered in a Sentence

She was too knackered to join them for dinner. I'm absolutely knackered, so no pub-crawling for me tonight.
Recent Examples on the Web Mounting a knackered horse and dragging a fat old farmer, Sancho, in his wake, the don declares undying love for an ordinary girl out of her depth. Jeanette Winterson, New York Times, "Salman Rushdie Updates ‘Don Quixote’ for the Digital Age," 3 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knackered.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of knackered

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for knackered

English slang knacker to kill, tire, perhaps from knacker, noun

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The first known use of knackered was in 1971

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Cite this Entry

“Knackered.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of knackered

British, informal : very tired or exhausted

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