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/ ˈnæk ərd /
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Definition of knackered

adjective British Slang.
exhausted; very tired: He is really knackered after work.
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Origin of knackered

First recorded in 1885–90; knacker “to tire” (attenuation of earlier sense “to kill”; cf. knacker (def. 1)) + -ed2

Words nearby knackered

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does knackered mean?

Knackered is a British slang word that means exhausted or worn out.

Knackered is very informal and is primarily used in the U.K.

Example: You can tell the players are a bit knackered after all the extra time in this match.

Where does knackered come from?

Knackered has been in English since at least the 1880s. It comes from an older sense of knacker that meant “to kill.”

The verb knacker then “weakened” to mean “tire out” or “wear out.” Like the adjective worn out, knackered can be applied to a person to mean “exhausted” or to a thing to mean “faded or worn.” So a person can be knackered after they have worked all day or exercised, but a coat could also be described as knackered after many years of wear.

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What are some synonyms for knackered?

What are some words that share a root or word element with knackered?


What are some words that often get used in discussing knackered?

How is knackered used in real life?

Knackered is a highly informal word that is used mostly in British English, typically in very casual contexts.

Try using knackered!

Which of the following sentences does NOT use knackered correctly?

A. I’m nice and knackered after that refreshing nap.
B. The dog ran around outside too much and now she’s knackered.
C. Susan came home knackered after a long day of laying bricks.

British Dictionary definitions for knackered

/ (ˈnækəd) /

adjective British slang
exhausted; tired out
worn out; no longer working, esp after long or hard use
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