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

Definition of knackered


Don't Get Tired Defining Knackered

Knackered is derived from the past participle of knacker, a slang term meaning "to kill," as well as "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 referred to a harness-maker or saddlemaker, and later referred to a buyer of animals no longer able to do farm work (or their carcasses) as well as to a buyer of 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 The adrenaline from having our first child (and keeping him alive) got me through the first several days without feeling completely knackered, but my lack of nocturnal restoration eventually took its toll. Patrick Wilson, Outside Online, 15 June 2020 And, if their knees get too knackered, there’s a backup Santa. Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2021 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, 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

Learn More About knackered

Time Traveler for knackered

Time Traveler

The first known use of knackered was in 1971

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About knackered

Dictionary Entries Near knackered




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for knackered

Cite this Entry

“Knackered.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!