a person or thing that knocks.
a hinged knob, bar, etc., on a door, for use in knocking.
Informal. a persistent and carping critic; faultfinder.
Slang: Vulgar. a female breast.


    on the knocker, British Slang. canvassing or selling door-to-door.

Origin of knocker

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at knock, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knockers

Historical Examples of knockers

  • Our Knockers are some of these powers, the guardians of mines.

    Welsh Folk-Lore

    Elias Owen

  • Some knockers are peculiar in that the design is not always apparent.

  • They are, sir; by the knockers, and by a supernatural voice heard at night.

    Wild Wales

    George Borrow

  • Have you ever heard the knockers, or the supernatural voice?

    Wild Wales

    George Borrow

  • A young gentleman had been fined £5 for wrenching off knockers from houses on the Denes.

    Yarmouth Notes

    Frederick Danby Palmer

British Dictionary definitions for knockers



an object, usually ornamental and made of metal, attached to a door by a hinge and used for knocking
informal a person who finds fault or disparages
(usually plural) slang a female breast
a person or thing that knocks
on the knocker Australian and NZ informal promptly; at onceyou pay on the knocker here
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 knockers



late 14c., agent noun from knock. Sense of "door banger" is by 1590s. Knockers "a woman's breasts" is slang attested from 1941.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper