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  1. a small, rounded hill or eminence; hillock.

Origin of knoll1

before 900; Middle English cnol, Old English cnoll; cognate with Norwegian knoll hillock; akin to Dutch knol turnip, Icelandic knollur, German Knollen, Danish knold tuber
Related formsknoll·y, adjective


verb (used with object)
  1. to ring or toll a bell for; announce by tolling.
  2. to ring or toll (a bell).
verb (used without object)
  1. to sound, as a bell; ring.
  2. to sound a knell.
  1. a stroke of a bell in ringing or tolling.

Origin of knoll2

1350–1400; Middle English (noun and v.); variant of knell
Related formsknoll·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for knoll

Historical Examples

  • The lower or "knoll" mounds were used as the sepulchres of the dead.

    The Nation in a Nutshell

    George Makepeace Towle

  • He and Carnes jumped from their shelter and ran over the knoll.

    The Solar Magnet

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • The minute afterward they arrived at the crest of the knoll.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • From the knoll where he stood he could see every inch of that hollow and it was untenanted.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He was sitting upon a knoll, his hands clasped about his knees.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for knoll


  1. a small rounded hill
Derived Formsknolly, adjective

Word Origin

Old English cnoll; compare Old Norse knollr hilltop


noun, verb
  1. an archaic or dialect word for knell
Derived Formsknoller, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for knoll


Old English cnoll "hilltop, small hill, clod, ball," related to Old Norse knollr "hilltop;" German knolle "clod, lump;" Dutch knol "turnip," nol "a hill."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper