[ nee-kap ]


  1. the patella.
  2. a protective covering, usually knitted, for the knee.

verb (used with object)

, knee·capped, knee·cap·ping.
  1. to cripple (a person) by shooting in the knee:

    Terrorists were kneecapping prospective jurors.


/ ˈniːˌkæp /


  1. anatomy a nontechnical name for patella
  2. See poleyn
    another word for poleyn


  1. (esp of certain terrorist groups) to shoot (a person) in the kneecap, esp as an act of retaliation


/ kăp′ /

  1. See patella

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Other Words From

  • kneecapper noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of kneecap1

First recorded in 1650–60; knee + cap 1

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Example Sentences

This kneecaps their ability to rapidly respond to natural disasters on islands and other remote locations that need quick help, especially after emergencies.

While respiratory infections rarely leave marks, the boy’s kneecaps had fused to the thighbones above them.

My muddy shoe slipped, and I banged my kneecap on a fence rail, clinging for dear life.

At the same time, Tea Partyers are fending off Republican attempts to “kneecap” the movement as a whole, says Carender.

You cannot kneecap a statistic, though you can sometimes make it limp.

Gillibrand exclaims, punctuating her eruption with a brisk swat to my kneecap.

The trappers entertain a superstitious notion, which leads them to remove a kneecap from each beaver and throw it into the fire.

But he did not catch her; he stubbed his toe and fell, arising with a bruised kneecap which prevented further pursuit.

In aiming kneeling, the left elbow rests on the left knee, point of elbow in front of kneecap.

As well as I could make out, the kneecap seemed turned up on edge in the midst of the swelling.

From the ankle up over the shin, almost to the kneecap, was a long red sore, yellowish in the centre.


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knee breechesknee-deep