knee

noun, often attributive
\ ˈnē How to pronounce knee (audio) \

Definition of knee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a joint in the middle part of the human leg that is the articulation between the femur, tibia, and patella also : the part of the leg that includes this joint
b(1) : the joint in the hind leg of a four-footed vertebrate that corresponds to the human knee
(2) : the carpal joint of the foreleg of a four-footed vertebrate
c : the tarsal joint of a bird
d : the joint between the femur and tibia of an insect
2 : something resembling the human knee: such as
a : a piece of timber naturally or artificially bent for use in supporting structures coming together at an angle (such as the deck beams of a ship)
b : a rounded or conical process rising from the roots of various swamp-growing trees cypress knee
3 : the part of a garment covering the knee
4 : a blow with the bent knee
to one's knees
: into a state of submission or defeat

knee

verb
kneed; kneeing

Definition of knee (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to strike with the knee
2 archaic : to bend the knee to

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Other Words from knee

Noun

kneed \ ˈnēd How to pronounce kneed (audio) \ adjective

Examples of knee in a Sentence

Noun

I fell down and hurt my knee. She suffered a serious knee injury. His knees trembled with fear. He got down on one knee and proposed to her. His little granddaughter sat on his knee. Her jeans had holes at the knees.

Verb

His attacker kneed him in the stomach.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In one investigation, a stall-keeper in a public market is stabbed in the back of the knee by an unseen assailant.... Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Sensitive, Awkward and Deranged," 12 Apr. 2019 To move backward, do the opposite, but bend your legs at the knees. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "How To Go Skydiving for the First Time," 5 Mar. 2019 And because Juul has dominated more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market, cutting it off at the knees is good news for other tobacco companies whose vapes aren’t as competitive. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "What a ban on e-cigarette flavors could mean for Big Tobacco," 9 Nov. 2018 Besides its steaming capabilities, the Styler has a compartment on the inside of its door that's dedicated to reducing pant wrinkles at the knee. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Appliance Actually Irons Your Clothes For You," 6 Nov. 2018 All of a sudden … from the knee down, became completely red. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent's weapon said he believed it was an 'idiot' with 'a firecracker'," 2 Oct. 2018 Tie strings together in a knot and safety pin (or tape) to a pillow or the knee of your pants. Sarah Newell, Seventeen, "11 Ridiculously Awesome DIY Gifts for Your BFFs," 12 Sep. 2018 Analysts such as Jon Roegele of Fangraphs and The Hardball Times documented the steady expansion of the strike zone from 2009-15, with most of the expansion occurring below the knees. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "What’s up with all the strikeouts in Major League Baseball?," 12 July 2018 He's mentioned certain habits throughout the season, and observers saw a bit more of a rigid lower half to compensate for the knee early. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles sit Trey Mancini in effort to reverse young slugger's season-long struggles," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thomas Hawthorne, The Arizona Republic The Mesa Police Department released a video Tuesday showing a police officer repeatedly punching and kneeing a man while other officers also surround the man. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Mesa officers on leave after video shows man being punched," 5 June 2018 Mesa Police Department The Mesa Police Department released additional video Wednesday that provides greater insight into what led police officers to punch and knee an unarmed man late last month. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Mesa police release body camera footage of officers throwing punches at unarmed man," 6 June 2018 While the original Cary dress worn by the model features much more extreme thigh-high slits, Meghan’s own piece has clearly been adjusted to knee heigh—probably to adhere to royal protocol and expectations, and to avoid any annoying eyebrow-raises. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "How Meghan Markle Altered Her Veronica Beard Shirt Dress so it Would Adhere to Royal Protocol," 26 Oct. 2018 The Cyclones also committed just eight turnovers against the league's leader in turnover margin despite missing point guard Nick Weiler-Babb to knee tendinitis. USA TODAY, "Iowa State rolls past No. 15 West Virginia 93-77," 31 Jan. 2018 The department was already reeling after surveillance footage emerged of officers punching and kneeing an unarmed man in a May 23 arrest. Ray Sanchez And Keith Allen, CNN, "Mesa, Arizona, police video shows officers punch, mock suspect," 14 June 2018 Officer Bojan Samardzic reportedly pulled out his pistol, which was followed by another officer grabbing Brown’s left arm and still another kneeing Brown in the groin. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Inside Sterling Brown’s compelling lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department and City of Milwaukee," 19 June 2018 Johnson's case received national attention after video showed officers kneeing and punching him multiple times before bringing him to the ground. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Charges dropped against Robert Johnson, man brutally beaten by Mesa police," 14 June 2018 Mesa officers punch, knee man The Mesa Police Department released a video on June 5 showing an officer repeatedly punching and kneeing a man before he is pulled to the ground while other officers surround him. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "These 6 body-cam videos have put Mesa police in national spotlight," 15 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of knee

Noun

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for knee

Noun

Middle English, from Old English cnēow; akin to Old High German kneo knee, Latin genu, Greek gony

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Statistics for knee

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for knee

The first known use of knee was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for knee

knee

noun

English Language Learners Definition of knee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the joint that bends at the middle of your leg
: the upper part of your leg when you are sitting
: the part that covers the knee on a pair of pants

knee

verb

English Language Learners Definition of knee (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hit (a person) with your knee

knee

noun
\ ˈnē How to pronounce knee (audio) \

Kids Definition of knee

1 : the joint or region in which the thigh and lower leg come together
2 : the part of a garment covering the knee
3 : lap entry 1 She sat on my knee.

knee

noun
\ ˈnē How to pronounce knee (audio) \

Medical Definition of knee

1a : a joint in the middle part of the human leg that is the articulation between the femur, tibia, and patella

called also knee joint

b : the part of the leg that includes this joint
2a : the joint in the hind leg of a 4-footed vertebrate that corresponds to the human knee
b : the carpal joint of the foreleg of a 4-footed vertebrate

Other Words from knee

kneed \ ˈnēd How to pronounce kneed (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on knee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knee

Spanish Central: Translation of knee

Nglish: Translation of knee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knee for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about knee

Comments on knee

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