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knock Idioms & Phrases

hard knocks

  • noun a state of misfortune or affliction
    hardship; adversity.
    • debt-ridden farmers struggling with adversity
    • a life of hardship

knock about

  • verb strike against forcefully
    batter; buffet.
    • Winds buffeted the tent
  • verb be around; be alive or active
    kick around; kick about.
    • Does the old man still kick around?

knock against

  • verb collide violently with an obstacle
    run into; jar against; butt against; bump into.
    • I ran into the telephone pole

knock back

  • verb cost a certain amount
    put back; set back.
    • My daughter's wedding set me back $20,000

knock cold

  • verb knock unconscious or senseless
    kayo; knock cold.
    • the boxing champion knocked out his opponent in a few seconds

knock down

  • verb cause to come or go down
    down; push down; pull down; cut down.
    • The policeman downed the heavily armed suspect
    • The mugger knocked down the old lady after she refused to hand over her wallet
  • verb knock down with force
    floor; dump; coldcock; deck.
    • He decked his opponent
  • verb shatter as if by explosion

Knock off

  • verb get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing
    neutralize; liquidate; do in; waste; neutralise.
    • The mafia liquidated the informer
    • the double agent was neutralized
  • verb cut the price of
  • verb take by theft
    cop; glom; thieve; hook; snitch.
    • Someone snitched my wallet!
  • verb write quickly
    fling off; dash off; toss off; scratch off.
    • She dashed off a note to her husband saying she would not be home for supper
    • He scratched off a thank-you note to the hostess
  • verb stop pursuing or acting
    • drop a lawsuit
    • knock it off!
  • a device in a knitting machine to remove loops from the needles.
Webster 1913

knock on

  • noun (rugby) knocking the ball forward while trying to catch it (a foul)

knock out

  • verb eliminate
    • knock out a target
  • verb knock unconscious or senseless
    kayo; knock cold.
    • the boxing champion knocked out his opponent in a few seconds
  • verb destroy or break forcefully
    • The windows were knocked out
  • verb overwhelm with admiration
    • All the guys were knocked out by her charm
  • verb empty (as of tobacco) by knocking out
    • knocked out a pipe

knock over

  • verb cause to overturn from an upright or normal position
    turn over; tip over; tump over; upset; overturn; bowl over.
    • The cat knocked over the flower vase
    • the clumsy customer turned over the vase
    • he tumped over his beer

knock rummy

  • noun a form of rummy in which a player can go out if the cards remaining in their hand total less than 10 points
    gin rummy; gin.

knock up

  • verb make pregnant
    impregnate; prang up; bang up.
    • He impregnated his wife again


  • adjective satellite strong enough to knock down or overwhelm
    • a knock-down blow


  • adjective satellite extremely violent
    • a knock-down-and-drag-out fight


  • noun an inward slant of the thigh
    tibia valga; genu valgum.
Knock"-knee` noun
  1. (Med.) A condition in which the knees are bent in so as to touch each other in walking; inknee.
Webster 1913


  • adjective satellite having the knees abnormally close together and the ankles wide apart
Knock"-kneed` adjective
  1. Having the legs bent inward so that the knees touch in walking. Written also knack-kneed. knockoff. a cheap imitation of something popular, often produced illegally and of inferior materials.
Webster 1913

knock-on effect

  • noun a secondary or incidental effect

knocked out

  • adjective satellite knocked unconscious by a heavy blow
    kayoed; out; stunned; KO'd.


  • adjective satellite damaged
    • the gym has some of the most knocked-out equipment since Vic Tanny

To knock about

  • to go about, taking knocks or rough usage; to wander about; to saunter. Colloq. "Knocking about town." W. Irving.
Webster 1913

To knock down

  • . (a) To strike down; to fell; to prostrate by a blow or by blows; as, to knock down an assailant . (b) To assign to a bidder at an auction, by a blow or knock; to knock off.
Webster 1913

To knock in the head, ∨ on the head

  • to stun or kill by a blow upon the head; hence, to put am end to; to defeat, as a scheme or project; to frustrate; to quash. Colloq.
Webster 1913

To knock off

  • to cease, as from work; to desist.
  • . (a) To force off by a blow or by beating. (b) To assign to a bidder at an auction, by a blow on the counter . (c) To leave off (work, etc.) . Colloq.
Webster 1913

To knock out

  • , to force out by a blow or by blows; as, to knock out the brains.
Webster 1913

To knock under

  • to yield; to submit; to acknowledge one's self conquered; an expression probably borrowed from the practice of knocking under the table with the knuckles, when conquered. "Colonel Esmond knocked under to his fate." Thackeray.
Webster 1913

To knock up

  • to fail of strength; to become wearied or worn out, as with labor; to give out. "The horses were beginning to knock up under the fatigue of such severe service." De Quincey. (b) to make pregnant (vulgar)
  • . (a) To arouse by knocking . (b) To beat or tire out; to fatigue till unable to do more; as, the men were entirely knocked up. Colloq. "The day being exceedingly hot, the want of food had knocked up my followers." Petherick. (c) (Bookbinding) To make even at the edges, or to shape into book form, as printed sheets. (d) To make pregnant. [vulgar: Often used in passive, "she got knocked up"]
Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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