1 of 2


chiefly dialectal : a crest of a hill : summit
chiefly dialectal : a small hill


2 of 2


knapped; knapping

transitive verb

: to break with a quick blow
especially : to shape (something, such as flints) by breaking off pieces
dialectal British : rap entry 2 sense 1
dialectal British : snap, crop
dialectal British : chatter
knapper noun

Examples of knap in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Our early ancestors apparently knapped the same style of handheld, multipurpose hand ax for 1.6 million years, with only minor tweaks to the template. Heather Pringle, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2016 Elders transmit other kinds of cultural knowledge, too—from environmental (what kinds of plants are poisonous or where to find water during a drought, for example) to technological (how to weave a basket or knap a stone knife, perhaps). Rachel Caspari, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2016 The course was jointly led by Ojibwe elders, who taught him how to knap flint, tan hides and build wigwams. Franz Lidz Meghan Dhaliwal, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2022 Relics unearthed in Flores indicate that the hobbits used large stones as hammers to knap and chip away at stone flakes, shaping them into cutting tools. Jill Neimark, Discover Magazine, 28 July 2011 Our Paleolithic ancestors learned to knap delicate blades from round stone cobbles, hunt large game and cook their food. Herman Pontzer, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2022 Knowing how to make a friction fire, or how to whittle a paddle out of a log, or how to knap stone arrowheads all have their place in a survival situation (particularly fire making). Jim Baird, Field & Stream, 3 Aug. 2020 There was the first time someone knapped and hafted a rock onto a spear shaft, and the first time someone strung up a bow. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, 19 Mar. 2020 His hair was unruly and his large, blunt fingers were usually fishing for a cigarette, except when preoccupied with his favourite hobby: knapping prehistoric flint tools. 1843, 20 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'knap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English cnæp; akin to Old English cnotta knot


Middle English knappen, of imitative origin

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of knap was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near knap

Cite this Entry

“Knap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on knap

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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