- 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.
verb (used with object), kneed, knee·ing.
verb (used without object), kneed, knee·ing.
- 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.
Origin of knee
- the area surrounding and above this joint
- (modifier)reaching or covering the kneeknee breeches; knee socks
verb knees, kneeing or kneed
Word Origin for knee
Old English cneo, cneow "knee," from Proto-Germanic *knewam (cf. Old Norse kne, Old Saxon kneo, Old Frisian kni, Middle Dutch cnie, Dutch knie, Old High German kniu, German Knie, Gothic kniu), from PIE root *g(e)neu- (cf. Sanskrit janu, Avestan znum, Hittite genu "knee;" Greek gony "knee," gonia "corner, angle;" Latin genu "knee"). Knee-slapper "funny joke" is from 1955.
early 13c., "to bend the knee, kneel," from Old English cneowian, from cneow (see knee (n.)). The meaning "to strike with the knee" is first recorded 1892. Related: Kneed; kneeing.
In addition to the idiom beginning with knee
, also see
- bring to one's knees
- on bended knee