Definition of knacker in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnakər/


A person whose business is the disposal of dead or unwanted animals, especially those whose flesh is not fit for human consumption.
Example sentences
  • The intention would be to have dead animals collected from farms by the local knacker man and then sent for rendering.
  • ‘In the Fall’ tells of an old horse being sold to the knacker by a family who lack the means to feed it through another winter and who need the pittance it will bring.
  • He explains that there was a mistake - the vet had just bought the van from the knacker and had not yet painted out the old name.


[with object] (often as adjective knackered) informal
1Tire (someone) out; exhaust: you look absolutely knackered
More example sentences
  • And after last night's shenanigans I'm absolutely knackered.
  • Bless him, by this point it was about quarter to two in the morning and he was knackered so I forgive him for being a bit confused.
  • I had every intention of arriving early and leaving early as it was a ‘school night’ and I was knackered after quite a few late nights at work.
1.1Damage severely.
Example sentences
  • My windscreen wipers are knackered and it's snowing buckets.
  • The teaching job really knackered my confidence.
  • When I work a 12 hour day, without a break, like today, the last thing I want to find at the end of it is that my bloody phone handset is knackered.


Late 16th century (originally denoting a harness-maker, then a slaughterer of horses): possibly from obsolete knack 'trinket' The word also had the sense 'old worn-out horse' (late 18th century). It is unclear whether the verb represents a figurative use of 'slaughter', from the noun sense, or of 'castrate', from a slang sense of the noun, 'testicles'.

Words that rhyme with knacker

alpaca, attacker, backer, clacker, claqueur, Dhaka, hacker, Hakka, lacquer, maraca, paca, packer, sifaka, slacker, smacker, stacker, tacker, tracker, whacker, yakka

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: knack·er

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