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
If there is a knock on Stafford’s performance, it’s that he doesn’t take full advantage of a clean pocket.Ignore the losses: Matthew Stafford is a quarterback worth pursuing | Neil Greenberg | January 27, 2021 | Washington Post
It’s not a knock on the multiple industries involved in this Herculean endeavor.A new president takes on one of the biggest vaccine challenges in history | Sy Mukherjee | January 21, 2021 | Fortune
I’ve found that things like a knock on the door or loud music can also trigger this effect.
A knock on Strasburg’s mega contract was his inability to stay healthy.Stephen Strasburg should be ‘full-go’ for spring training. The Nats will need him. | Jesse Dougherty | December 17, 2020 | Washington Post
That’s not a knock against the device, but rather a reminder to temper your expectations in the face of an endless onslaught of mobile carrier ads promising eyeball-melting speeds.The iPhone 12 Pro is a big upgrade even without the 5G hype | Stan Horaczek | October 28, 2020 | Popular-Science
This reporter knocked at the Wilkins home on Tuesday morning but received neither an answer nor the business end of a shotgun.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods | James Higdon | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
I took out my knife, my Ka-Bar, and knocked his teeth out, but they fell into his throat.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile | Robert Ward | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
No one likes it when their sandcastle is knocked over, but his reaction is a bit, err, extreme.
Twenty minutes after the interview was over, the translator knocked on my hotel room door.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind | Brin-Jonathan Butler | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
There are a few Orc killings that we actually got knocked back.‘No Regrets’: Peter Jackson Says Goodbye to Middle-Earth | Alex Suskind | December 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
With a hammer the boy knocked off some of the slats of the small box in which Squinty had made his journey.Squinty the Comical Pig | Richard Barnum
The governor made a strong thrust at him, which almost knocked him down; but showed that he was clad in armor.
It was only a hut of rough boards, carelessly knocked together for a shepherd's temporary home.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
A rough track led to the gate, and Frank knocked loudly on an iron-studded door.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
Birdie has fairly taken the fighting edge off Liman von Sanders' two new Divisions: he has knocked them to bits.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
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.