[ neel ]
See synonyms for: kneelkneelingknelt on

verb (used without object),knelt [nelt] /nɛlt/ or kneeled, kneel·ing.
  1. to go down or rest on the knees or a knee.

  1. the action or position of kneeling.

Origin of kneel

First recorded before 1000; Middle English knelen, Old English cnēowlian (cognate with Low German knelen, Dutch knielen ). See knee, -le

Other words from kneel

  • kneel·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·kneel·ing, adjective

Words Nearby kneel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use kneel in a sentence

  • The men stand, and the women bring with them little carpets, which they spread before them, and on which they either kneel or sit.

  • The elephant was made to kneel down, a ladder was placed against his side, and Mr. Law and myself took our places.

  • Nobody notices you if you kneel down on the road to say your prayer, in spite of the fact that you are blocking the traffic.

    Kari the Elephant | Dhan Gopal Mukerji
  • He bound the child's eyes with a white cloth, and bade him kneel beside the stone with his face to the east.

    The First Christmas Tree | Henry Van Dyke
  • The stranger came forward reverently to kneel between the two nuns.

    An Episode Under the Terror | Honore de Balzac

British Dictionary definitions for kneel


/ (niːl) /

verbkneels, kneeling, knelt or kneeled
  1. (intr) to rest, fall, or support oneself on one's knees

  1. the act or position of kneeling

Origin of kneel

Old English cnēowlian; see knee

Derived forms of kneel

  • kneeler, noun

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