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See more synonyms for knelt on Thesaurus.com
  1. a simple past tense and past participle of kneel.
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verb (used without object), knelt or kneeled, kneel·ing.
  1. to go down or rest on the knees or a knee.
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  1. the action or position of kneeling.
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Origin of kneel

before 1000; Middle English knelen, Old English cnēowlian (cognate with Low German knelen, Dutch knielen). See knee, -le
Related formskneel·ing·ly, adverbun·kneel·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for knelt

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Into the little parlor filed the nurses, and knelt, folding their tired hands.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • She then returned to the mouth of the cave, and knelt down at Richard Digby's feet.

    The Man of Adamant

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Miss Whitmore knelt and examined the cattle thief curiously.

  • Linda rushed to the boulder and knelt again, but she could get no response to her questions.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • For some minutes he knelt motionless, as if in prayer, though no sound escaped him.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for knelt


  1. a past tense and past participle of kneel
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verb kneels, kneeling, knelt or kneeled
  1. (intr) to rest, fall, or support oneself on one's knees
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  1. the act or position of kneeling
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Derived Formskneeler, noun

Word Origin

Old English cnēowlian; see knee
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 knelt



Old English cneowlian, from cneow (see knee (n.)); cf. Middle Low German knelen, Middle Dutch cnielen, Dutch knielen Gothic knussjan. Past tense knelt is a modern formation (19c.) on analogy of feel/felt, etc. Related: Kneeling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper