\ ˈnäk How to pronounce knock (audio) \
knocked; knocking; knocks

Definition of knock

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to strike something with a sharp blow
2 : to collide with something
3a : bustle heard them knocking around in the kitchen
b : wander knocked about Europe all summer
4a : to make a pounding noise
b : to have engine knock
5 : to find fault

transitive verb

1a(1) : to strike sharply
(2) : to drive, force, or make by or as if by so striking was knocked out of the campaign
b : to set forcibly in motion with a blow
2 : to cause to collide
3 : to find fault with always knocking those in authority
knock cold knock dead
: to move strongly especially to admiration or applause a comedian who really knocks them dead
knock for a loop
1a : overcome knocked my opponent for a loop
b : demolish knocked our idea for a loop
2 : dumbfound, amaze the news knocked them for a loop
knock one's socks off
: to overwhelm or amaze one a performance that will knock your socks off
knock on wood
used interjectionally to ward off misfortune
knock together
: to make or assemble especially hurriedly or in a makeshift way knocked together my own bookcase



Definition of knock (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a sharp blow : rap, hit a loud knock on the door
b(1) : a severe misfortune or hardship
(2) : setback, reversal
2a : a pounding noise
b : a sharp repetitive metallic noise caused by abnormal ignition in an automobile engine
3 : a harsh and often petty criticism the knock on him was that he couldn't handle the pressure

Examples of knock in a Sentence

Verb The ball knocked him on the chin. She knocked the glass from his hand. He knocked the baseball over the fence. The ball hit him in the mouth and knocked out one of his teeth. The wind knocked him backwards. The dog knocked against the lamp. My knee accidentally knocked against the table. Skaters were knocking into each other all over the ice. I accidentally knocked my knee against the table. Noun He gave him a knock on the head. There was a loud knock at the door. She took some knocks early in her career. He likes praise but can't stand the knocks. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But even his most popular movies can't knock Hustle. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 20 June 2022 An explosion at a major natural gas production facility in Texas could knock the plant off line for at least three weeks, company officials said Thursday, roiling global energy markets at a time when supplies are already stretched. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 9 June 2022 Burrow, who led the Bengals to the Super Bowl last season but lost 23-20 to the Rams, is 0-3 in head-to-head matchups against Mayfield, and can’t knock him by any stretch. cleveland, 19 May 2022 The total could be even more, as Grant Williams had two additional wide-open looks but couldn’t knock them down. Katie Mcinerney,, 15 May 2022 Not to knock water, but Athletic Lite is a much tastier option. Outside Online, 13 May 2022 The limited evidence leaves most physicians favoring the idea that Paxlovid knocks the virus down but doesn’t knock it out completely. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Apr. 2022 Conor Daly has a message for the world at-large: don’t knock on a businessman’s trip to Las Vegas. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Jan. 2022 This result shouldn’t knock Georgia out of the four-team playoff field, which will be announced Sunday. Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY, 5 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The players that started today that maybe haven’t in other games, this game is not a knock on them at all. oregonlive, 21 May 2022 If there was a knock against it, the original Sport Band was obviously a rugged band. Brad Moon, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Two and a half hours earlier there had been a knock on my door. Ari Rabin-havt, The New Republic, 28 Apr. 2022 As Sloan was talking, there was a knock on the door. Greg Larry, Baltimore Sun, 3 Apr. 2022 More confusing is the show’s characterization of Alice, which is not a knock on Bradford. Caroline Framke, Variety, 30 Mar. 2022 That is not a knock on Bulawayo’s storytelling gifts, which are prodigious. Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2022 Mike says just before the couple hears a knock at their door. Jason Duaine Hahn,, 6 June 2022 The Pacers then cut West Linn’s lead down to one in the bottom of the seventh as Wilson and senior starting pitcher Zach Johnson each had a knock for an RBI. oregonlive, 31 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of knock


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for knock


Middle English knoken, from Old English cnocian; akin to Middle High German knochen to press

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Time Traveler for knock

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Knock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for knock


\ ˈnäk How to pronounce knock (audio) \
knocked; knocking

Kids Definition of knock

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to strike in order to get someone's attention I knocked before entering.
2 : to bump against something without intending to Careful! You knocked the lamp.
3 : to make a pounding noise The car's engine began knocking.
4 : to find fault with Don't knock it till you try it.
5 : to hit forcefully He knocked the ball out of the park.
knock down
1 : to strike to the ground with or as if with a sharp blow
2 : to take apart Knock down the tent before you leave camp.
knock off
: to stop doing something Hey, I don't like that, so knock it off!
knock over
: to cause to fall



Kids Definition of knock (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a pounding noise I heard a knock at the door.
2 : a sharp blow a knock on the head
3 : a difficult or painful experience You learn from life's knocks.


\ ˈnäk How to pronounce knock (audio) \

Medical Definition of knock

1 : a sharp blow a knock to the head
2 : a sharp pounding noise

More from Merriam-Webster on knock

Nglish: Translation of knock for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knock for Arabic Speakers


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