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See more synonyms for knout on Thesaurus.com
  1. a whip with a lash of leather thongs, formerly used in Russia for flogging criminals.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to flog with the knout.
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Origin of knout

1710–20; < French < Russian knut, Old Russian < Old Norse knūtr knot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for knout

Historical Examples

  • It was not inhumanity, but fear of the knout that hurried him away.

    Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home

    Bayard Taylor

  • Chancellor Bestuchef, in the year 1756, was forced to confession by the knout.

  • Will you swear to that, or shall I work the knout in order to bring out the truth?

    The Boy Nihilist

    Allan Arnold

  • Then he swings the knout anew, with the same accuracy and the same result.

  • The knout—the knout—and that attended with public exposure in the market-place.

    The Pacha of Many Tales

    Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for knout


  1. a stout whip used formerly in Russia as an instrument of punishment
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Word Origin

C17: from Russian knut, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse knūtr knot
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