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 back

knock back

verb (tr, adverb)

informal to drink, esp quickly
informal to cost
slang to reject or refuseyou cannot possibly knock back such an offer
slang to come as an unpleasant surprise to; disconcert

noun knock-back

slang a refusal or rejection
prison slang failure to obtain parole


/ (nɒk) /



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 back
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with knock back

knock back

Also, knock it back. Gulp down an alcoholic beverage, as in He knocked back glass after glass of wine, or I hear you've been knocking it back a bit. [First half of 1900s]


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.