a projecting part, usually rounded, forming the handle of a door, drawer, or the like.
a rounded lump or protuberance on the surface or at the end of something, as a knot on a tree trunk.
Architecture. an ornamental boss, as of carved work.
a rounded hill, mountain, or elevation on a ridge.

verb (used with object), knobbed, knob·bing.

Origin of knob

1350–1400; Middle English knobbe < Middle Low German
Related formsknob·like, adjective
Can be confusedknob nob Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knob

Contemporary Examples of knob

Historical Examples of knob

  • There was no answer to his knock, and by trying the knob he found that she had locked herself in.

  • He fumbled for the knob, and it turned with a grating sound.

  • With his hand on the knob of the drawing-room door Austin paused and looked at him.


    William J. Locke

  • They stopped at the door, and some one fumbled noisily at the knob.

  • We had planned a trip to the Knob the next day, and were to camp out for the night.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for knob



a rounded projection from a surface, such as a lump on a tree trunk
a handle of a door, drawer, etc, esp one that is rounded
a round hill or knoll or morainic ridge
British taboo a slang word for penis
and the same to you with knobs on or and the same to you with brass knobs on British informal the same to you but even more so

verb knobs, knobbing or knobbed

(tr) to supply or ornament with knobs
(intr) to form into a knob; bulge
British taboo to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
Derived Formsknobby, adjectiveknoblike, adjective

Word Origin for knob

C14: from Middle Low German knobbe knot in wood; see knop
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 knob

late 14c., knobe, probably from a Scandinavian or German source (cf. Middle Low German knobbe "knob," Middle Dutch cnoppe, Dutch knop, Old Frisian knopp, knapp, Old High German knopf, German Knopf "button," Old Norse knyfill "short horn"). Meaning "knoll, isolated round hill" is first recorded 1640s, especially in U.S.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

knob in Science



A prominent, rounded hill or mountain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.