\ ˈnēl How to pronounce kneel (audio) \
knelt\ ˈnelt How to pronounce knelt (audio) \ or kneeled; kneeling

Definition of kneel

intransitive verb

: to position the body so that one or both knees rest on the floor The prisoners were ordered to kneel. : to fall or rest on the knees She kneeled on the floor next to the child.

Examples of kneel in a Sentence

She was kneeling on the floor beside her child. He was kneeling in front of the altar and praying.

Recent Examples on the Web

In another, Jungkook is for some reason kneeling on the ground while Jimin pats him on the shoulder. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Every Iconic BTS Moment You Missed During Billboard Music Awards 2019," 2 May 2019 Eventually, the video cuts between the paintings, the Carters and images of people of color in the real world - a couple making out on their bed, teenagers kneeling in the same way the NFL will not allow its players during the national anthem. Travis M. Andrews,, "A guide to Beyonce and Jay-Z's surprise joint album 'Everything is Love'," 18 June 2018 From a kneeling performance to some seriously sassy use of hands, BTS held nothing back. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "BTS Performed in Hong Kong and the ARMY Cannot Handle How Cute They Were," 22 Mar. 2019 Have your partner kneel behind you and place both hands on your ankles. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How to Do Nordic Curls to Strengthen Your Hamstrings, Like Celebrity Trainer Ashley Borden," 14 Feb. 2019 But now, players are kneeling because he’s not allowed to play the game anymore. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Unlike some athletes, former NFL star Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t want to be a venture capitalist," 23 Oct. 2018 One month before that, Eric Reid, a former San Francisco 49ers player who knelt alongside Colin Kaepernick, wrote in the New York Times that police violence against black men and women also factored into his decision to protest. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "NFL players are protesting systemic racism. Trump wants to solve it with pardons.," 15 June 2018 But around the league there were players who knelt in silent protest of the treatment of African-Americans by police, and Trump blasted them as unpatriotic. Jason Carroll, CNN, "NFL star has a message for many of you in the discussion on racial injustice: 'You aren't listening'," 6 June 2018 But not every player will attend the customary celebratory event in Washington, D.C. President Trump has infamously clashed with the NFL throughout his first year as president, lambasting players who knelt in protest during the national anthem. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Philadelphia Eagles who plan to skip the White House Super Bowl visit," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kneel.' 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 kneel

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kneel

Middle English knelen, from Old English cnēowlian; akin to Old English cnēow knee

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Statistics for kneel

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for kneel

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

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English Language Learners Definition of kneel

: to move your body so that one or both of your knees are on the floor : to be in a position in which both of your knees are on the floor


\ ˈnēl How to pronounce kneel (audio) \
knelt\ ˈnelt \ or kneeled\ ˈnēld \; kneeling

Kids Definition of kneel

: to support the body on the knees

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More from Merriam-Webster on kneel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kneel

Spanish Central: Translation of kneel

Nglish: Translation of kneel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kneel for Arabic Speakers

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using a distributed computer network

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