verb (used with object)

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

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knead

Contemporary Examples of knead

  • Mix together then knead to make a soft, smooth, elastic dough.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Unusual Pizza to Cook on Your Grill

    Lydia Brownlow

    June 15, 2012

  • Pour in the chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist, actually wet.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Divine Apple Dishes

    Anne Burrell

    January 6, 2011

  • The chocolate is put in large conching machines that spin it though whirling blades to knead it for hours.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Four Chocolate Questions Answered

    Mary Goodbody

    September 29, 2009

Historical Examples of knead

British Dictionary definitions for knead


verb (tr)

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

Word Origin for knead

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper