Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

kneecap

[nee-kap]
noun
  1. the patella.
  2. a protective covering, usually knitted, for the knee.
Show More
verb (used with object), knee·capped, knee·cap·ping.
  1. to cripple (a person) by shooting in the knee: Terrorists were kneecapping prospective jurors.
Show More

Origin of kneecap

First recorded in 1650–60; knee + cap1
Related formsknee·cap·per, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kneecap

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His elevation above the valley was about the kneecap of the Generoso.

  • From her perch on my kneecap Red said, coolly, "Don't you dare try that again."

    The Animated Pinup

    Lewis Parker

  • Red turned away in disgust to leap from my kneecap to Willy's.

    The Animated Pinup

    Lewis Parker

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

    The Desert World

    Arthur Mangin

  • In the action I saw that his leg pained him, for he bent it suddenly and put his hand on the kneecap.

    The Other Fellow

    F. Hopkinson Smith


British Dictionary definitions for kneecap

kneecap

noun
  1. anatomy a nontechnical name for patella
  2. another word for poleyn
Show More
verb -caps, -capping or -capped (tr)
  1. (esp of certain terrorist groups) to shoot (a person) in the kneecap, esp as an act of retaliation
Show More
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 kneecap

n.

1650s, "a covering or protection for the knee," from knee (n.) + cap (n.). Meaning "bone in front of the knee joint" is from 1869; the verb in the underworld sense of "to shoot (someone) in the knee" as punishment is attested by 1975. Related: Kneecapped.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

kneecap in Medicine

kneecap

(nēkăp′)
n.
  1. patella

kneecap in Science

kneecap

[nēkăp′]
  1. See patella.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.