Nearby words

  1. knobbly,
  2. knobby,
  3. knobcone pine,
  4. knobhead,
  5. knobkerrie,
  6. knock about,
  7. knock back,
  8. knock cold,
  9. knock dead,
  10. knock down


Origin of knock

before 1000; 1890–95 for def 4; Middle English knokken, knoken (v.), Old English cnocian, cnucian; cognate with Old Norse knoka to thump, knock

Related formsknock·less, adjectivere·knock, verbun·knocked, adjectiveun·knock·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for knock around



(tr) to give a blow or push to; strike
(intr) to rap sharply with the knuckles, a hard object, etc, esp to capture attentionto knock at the door
(tr) to make or force by strikingto knock a hole in the wall
(intr usually foll by against) to collide (with)
(tr) to bring into a certain condition by hitting or pushingto knock someone unconscious
(tr) informal to criticize adversely; belittleto 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
  1. to daze or kill (a person) by striking on the head
  2. effectively to prevent the further development of (a plan)


  1. a blow, push, or raphe gave the table a knock
  2. 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

Word Origin for knock

Old English cnocian, of imitative origin; related to Old Norse knoka to hit

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 knock around
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with knock around


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

also see:

  • 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.