a whip with a lash of leather thongs, formerly used in Russia for flogging criminals.

verb (used with object)

to flog with the knout.

Origin of knout

1710–20; < French < Russian knut, Old Russian < Old Norse knūtr knot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knouts

Historical Examples of knouts

  • Stella knew no Russian; she had no idea that anything worse could happen to this seriously broken people ruled by knouts.

    The Second Fiddle

    Phyllis Bottome

British Dictionary definitions for knouts



a stout whip used formerly in Russia as an instrument of punishment

Word Origin for knout

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