to strike a sounding blow with the fist, knuckles, or anything hard, especially on a door, window, or the like, as in seeking admittance, calling attention, or giving a signal: to knock on the door before entering.
to strike in collision; bump: He knocked into a table.
to make a pounding noise: The engine of our car is knocking badly.
Informal. to engage in trivial or carping criticism; find fault.
Cards. to end a game, as in gin rummy, by laying down a hand in which those cards not included in sets total less than a specific amount.
to give a sounding or forcible blow to; hit; strike; beat.
to drive, force, or render by a blow or blows: to knock a man senseless.
to make by striking a blow or blows: to knock a hole in the wall.
to strike (a thing) against something else.
Informal. to criticize, especially in a carping manner: He's always knocking everything.
British Slang. to astound; impress greatly.
an act or instance of knocking.
the sound of knocking, especially a rap, as at a door.
a blow or thump.
Informal. an adverse criticism.
the noise resulting from faulty combustion or from incorrect functioning of some part of an internal-combustion engine.
Cricket. an innings.
one of a combination of dealers who bid together, rather than against each other, at an auction, and later resell the purchases among themselves.
an auction at which this is done.
the sale of merchandise recently obtained by a dealer at an auction.
knock around / about Informal.
to wander aimlessly or idly; loaf.
to mistreat (someone), especially physically.
to jar; shake up.
knock back, Slang. to drink (a beverage), especially quickly and heartily: He knocked back two shots of vodka.
to sell at auction by a blow of the hammer or to a bidder.
to take apart or disassemble, as for facility in handling, storing, shipping, etc.
Slang. to receive, as a salary or a scholastic grade; earn: He knocks down 30 grand a year.
Informal. to lower the price of; reduce: to knock down end-of-season leftovers.
Slang. to embezzle or steal (money).
to cause (a sailing vessel) to heel, as by a gust of wind, to such a degree that it cannot right itself.
Informal. to cease activity, especially work: to knock off at five every day.
to stop doing something; quit: Knock it off or you'll get into a mess.
Slang. to dispose of; finish.
Slang. to murder; kill.
Slang. to die.
Slang. to get rid of; reduce.
Slang. to disable or defeat.
Slang. to commit a robbery at; steal from: The gang knocked off a gas station.
Nautical Slang. to blow the head (of a sailing vessel) off the wind.
to imitate, copy, or plagiarize: to knock off designer dresses in cheap materials.
to defeat (an opponent) in a boxing match by striking such a blow that the opponent is unable to rise within the specified time.
to render (a person) unconscious: Those sleeping pills knocked me out for ten hours.
to make tired or exhausted: Christmas shopping always knocks me out.
Informal. to produce quickly, hurriedly, or with ease: He knocks out two poems a day.
to damage or destroy: The explosion knocked out the power for several hours.
to strike (someone or something) from an erect to a prone position: to knock over a lamp.
to distress; overcome: When the announcement came we were completely knocked over.
Slang. to rob, burglarize, or hijack: He knocked over five banks.
knock together, to make or construct in a hurry or with little attention to detail: He knocked together a couple of tables.
Slang. to make pregnant.
to exhaust; weary; tire.
to damage; mar: The children knocked up the new table.
to injure; wound: He was afraid to come home from school all knocked up again.
British. to wake up; rouse; call: He knocked us up before dawn.
Idioms about knock
have it knocked, Slang. to be assured of success: With a government job, he thought he had it knocked.
knock out of the box, Baseball. to cause a pitcher to be removed from the box because the pitcher has permitted too many hits to be made.: Also knock out.
knock the / one's socks off, Informal. to have an overwhelming effect on: The song knocked the socks off the audience.
- knockless, adjective
- re·knock, verb
- un·knocked, adjective
- un·knock·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use knock in a sentence
Even though arthritis swells beneath both of my knock knees.How a Plus-Size Hiker Found Her Footing on the Trail | syadron | August 22, 2021 | Outside Online
The “never voted” line is a knock at Carey, who has never held office.The Trailer: Who sponsored this message? Why you're seeing so many ads so far from the midterms. | David Weigel | July 29, 2021 | Washington Post
They plan to spend a week of vacation wallowing in the glorious luxuries of a house they are not rich enough to own but are rich enough to aspire toward — but then, on their first night at the house, there’s a knock at the door.
Perhaps the biggest knock on the play-in tournament is that it is somewhat difficult to explain.LeBron James wants the NBA’s play-in guy fired. The NBA’s play-in guy disagrees. | Ben Golliver | May 5, 2021 | Washington Post
Mallory Talbott, who manages a barbecue restaurant, said parents knew to call the house phone if no one answered a knock.The Child Care Industry Was Collapsing. Mrs. Jackie Bet Everything on an Impossible Dream to Save It. | by Lizzie Presser | May 1, 2021 | ProPublica
This courageous act earned him a late-night knock on the door with orders for Serna to vamos from Cuba.
In the back of my mind I was wondering how much time we had before there might be an ominous knock at the door.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind | Brin-Jonathan Butler | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I was writing Lorrie Moore knock-off short stories before I switched to nonfiction.Meghan Daum On Tackling The Unspeakable Parts Of Life | David Yaffe | December 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Still, we had the 13 dwarves to deal with, but at least in this movie we get to knock a couple off, which is a relief.‘No Regrets’: Peter Jackson Says Goodbye to Middle-Earth | Alex Suskind | December 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But hey, if you want to take on Cosby for telling you to stay in school, knock yourself out.
If the Turks get hold of a lot of fresh men and throw them upon us during the night,—perhaps they may knock us off into the sea.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
There was no response to the knock, and Davy cautiously pushed open the door and went in.Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
Captain Lovelock got up as well; Bernard heard him knock over his little gilded chair.Confidence | Henry James
“I think it is a knock at the door,” said Mr. Pickwick, as if there could be the smallest doubt of the fact!The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2) | Charles Dickens
But a knock at the door interrupted them; the discreet Capt entered, bearing a telegram upon a salver.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
British Dictionary definitions for knock
(tr) to give a blow or push to; strike
(intr) to rap sharply with the knuckles, a hard object, etc, esp to capture attention: to knock at the door
(tr) to make or force by striking: to knock a hole in the wall
(intr usually foll by against) to collide (with)
(tr) to bring into a certain condition by hitting or pushing: to knock someone unconscious
(tr) informal to criticize adversely; belittle: to knock someone's work
Also: pink (intr) (of an internal-combustion engine) to emit a characteristic metallic noise as a result of faulty combustion
(intr) (of a bearing, esp one in an engine) to emit a regular characteristic sound as a result of wear
British slang to have sexual intercourse with (a person)
knock a person into the middle of next week informal to hit a person with a very heavy blow
knock one's head against to have a violent or unpleasant encounter with (adverse facts or circumstances)
knock on the head
to daze or kill (a person) by striking on the head
effectively to prevent the further development of (a plan)
a blow, push, or rap: he gave the table a knock
the sound so caused
the sound of knocking in an engine or bearing
informal a misfortune, rebuff, or setback
informal unfavourable criticism
informal (in cricket) an innings or a spell of batting
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with knock
In addition to the idioms beginning with knock
- knock about
- knock back
- knock cold
- knock dead
- knock down
- knock down with a feather
- knock for a loop
- knock into a cocked hat
- knock it off
- knock off
- knock oneself out
- knock on wood
- knock out
- knock over
- knock over with a feather
- knock someone's block off
- knock someone's socks off
- knock the bottom out of
- knock the living daylights out of
- knock the socks off
- knock together
- knock up
- beat (knock) into someone's head
- beat (knock) the living daylights out of
- (knock) down to size
- (knock) off someone's feet
- school of hard knocks
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.