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verb (used with object)
  1. to work (dough, clay, etc.) into a uniform mixture by pressing, folding, and stretching.
  2. to manipulate by similar movements, as the body in a massage.
  3. to make by kneading: to knead bread.
  4. to make kneading movements with: She kneaded her fist into her palm.
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Origin of knead

before 950; Middle English kneden, Old English cnedan; cognate with German kneten, Dutch kneden
Related formsknead·a·ble, adjectiveknead·a·bil·i·ty, nounknead·er, nounknead·ing·ly, adverbre·knead, verb (used with object)un·knead·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for knead


verb (tr)
  1. to work and press (a soft substance, such as bread dough) into a uniform mixture with the hands
  2. to squeeze, massage, or press with the hands
  3. to make by kneading
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Derived Formskneader, noun

Word Origin

Old English cnedan; related to Old Saxon knedan, Old Norse knotha
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 knead


Old English cnedan "to knead," from Proto-Germanic *knedanan (cf. Old Saxon knedan, Middle Dutch cneden, Dutch kneden, Old High German knetan, German kneten, Old Norse knoða "to knead"). Originally a strong verb (past tense cnæd, past participle cneden).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper