Idioms

Origin of wood

1
before 900; Middle English; Old English wudu, earlier widu; cognate with Old Norse vithr, Old High German witu, Old Irish fid
Related formswood·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for knock on wood (1 of 3)

Wood

/ (wʊd) /

noun

Mrs Henry, married name of Ellen Price . 1814–87, British novelist, noted esp for the melodramatic novel East Lynne (1861)
Sir Henry (Joseph). 1869–1944, English conductor, who founded the Promenade Concerts in London
John, known as the Elder . 1707–54, British architect and town planner, working mainly in Bath, where he designed the North and South Parades (1728) and the Circus (1754)
his son, John, known as the Younger . 1727–82, British architect: designed the Royal Crescent (1767–71) and the Assembly Rooms (1769–71), Bath
Ralph. 1715–72, British potter, working in Staffordshire, who made the first toby jug (1762)

British Dictionary definitions for knock on wood (2 of 3)

wood

1
/ (wʊd) /

noun

verb

(tr) to plant a wood upon
to supply or be supplied with fuel or firewood
See also woods
Derived Formswoodless, adjective

Word Origin for wood

Old English widu, wudu; related to Old High German witu, Old Norse vithr

British Dictionary definitions for knock on wood (3 of 3)

wood

2
/ (wʊd) /

adjective

obsolete raging or raving like a maniac

Word Origin for wood

Old English wōd; related to Old High German wuot (German Wut), Old Norse ōthr, Gothic wōths, Latin vātēs seer
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

Science definitions for knock on wood

wood

[ wud ]

The thick xylem of trees and shrubs, resulting from secondary growth by the vascular cambium, which produces new layers of living xylem. The accumulated living xylem is the sapwood. The older, dead xylem in the interior of the tree forms the heartwood. Often each cycle of growth of new wood is evident as a growth ring. The main components of wood are cellulose and lignin.
Related formswoody adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for knock on wood

knock on wood


Some people say, “Knock on wood,” and then knock on something made of wood for good luck, when they have made a remark that has been true up to that point and they want it to continue to be true: “I've never had an accident yet, knock on wood.”

Note

The expression alludes to an ancient superstition that touching wood would ward off evil spirits.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with knock on wood

knock on wood


Also, touch wood. Express a wish that something will or will not occur, as in This last round of treatment should have cured her, knock on wood. This expression alludes to an ancient superstition that literally knocking on or touching wood will ward off evil spirits. [c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.