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.

Nearby words

  1. knavish,
  2. knavishly,
  3. knawel,
  4. knead,
  5. knebworth house,
  6. knee action,
  7. knee bend,
  8. knee brace,
  9. knee breeches,
  10. knee drop


Origin of knee

before 900; Middle English cneo, Old English cnēo(w); cognate with German, Dutch knie, Old Norse knē, Gothic kniu, Latin genu, Greek góny, Sanskrit jānu knee Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knee

British Dictionary definitions for knee



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
  1. the area surrounding and above this joint
  2. (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

Word Origin and History for knee
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for knee




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.