[ nee ]
/ ni /
Anatomy. the joint of the leg that allows for movement between the femur and tibia and is protected by the patella; the central area of the leg between the thigh and the lower leg.
Zoology. the corresponding joint or region in the hind leg of a quadruped; stifle.
a joint or region likened to this but not anatomically homologous with it, as the tarsal joint of a bird, the carpal joint in the forelimb of the horse or cow, etc.
the part of a garment covering the knee.
something resembling a bent knee, especially a rigid or braced angle between two framing members.
- the junction of the top and either of the uprights of a bent.
- a curved member for reinforcing the junction of two pieces meeting at an angle.
Also called kneeler. a stone cut to follow a sharp return angle.
verb (used with object), kneed, knee·ing.
to strike or touch with the knee.
to secure (a structure, as a bent) with a knee.
verb (used without object), kneed, knee·ing.
Obsolete. to go down on the knees; kneel.
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Idioms for knee
bring someone to his / her knees, to force someone into submission or compliance.
cut (someone) off at the knees, to squelch or humiliate (a person) suddenly and thoroughly: The speaker cut the heckler off at the knees.
- in a supplicatory position or manner: I came to him on my knees for the money.
- in a desperate or declining condition: The country's economy is on its knees.
on one's / its knees,
take a knee, to kneel on one knee, usually with the opposite leg also bent at a 90-degree angle and placed forward with the foot on the ground, as in sports or as a posture in protests and demonstrations: Our soccer team would take a knee if a player on either team was injured.Organizers are coordinating so the crowds at every state capitol will take a knee in protest of racial injustice simultaneously, across time zones.
Origin of knee
First recorded before 900; Middle English kne, cne, knei, cneo, Old English cnēo(w); cognate with German Knie, Dutch knie, Old Norse knē, Gothic kniu, Latin genu, Greek góny, Sanskrit jānu, Hittite genu, all meaning “knee”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for knee
/ (niː) /
the joint of the human leg connecting the tibia and fibula with the femur and protected in front by the patellaTechnical name: genu Related adjective: genicular
- the area surrounding and above this joint
- (modifier) reaching or covering the kneeknee breeches; knee socks
a corresponding or similar part in other vertebrates
the part of a garment that covers the knee
the upper surface of a seated person's thighthe child sat on her mother's knee
anything resembling a knee in action, such as a device pivoted to allow one member angular movement in relation to another
anything resembling a knee in shape, such as an angular bend in a pipe
any of the hollow rounded protuberances that project upwards from the roots of the swamp cypress: thought to aid respiration in waterlogged soil
bend the knee or bow the knee to kneel or submit
bring someone to his knees to force someone into submission
bring something to its knees to cause something to be in a weakened or impoverished state
verb knees, kneeing or kneed
(tr) to strike, nudge, or push with the knee
Word Origin for knee
Old English cnēow; compare Old High German kneo, Old Norse knē, Latin genu
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
Medical definitions for knee
[ nē ]
The joint between the thigh and the lower leg, formed by the articulation of the femur and the tibia and covered anteriorly by the patella.
The region of the leg that encloses and supports this joint.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with knee
In addition to the idiom beginning with knee
, also see
- bring to one's knees
- on bended knee
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.