Definition of knob in English:

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Pronunciation: /näb/


1A rounded lump or ball, especially at the end or on the surface of something.
Example sentences
  • After the glue has hardened, rub fine-grain sandpaper across the surface of both knobs, making their surfaces smooth.
  • For example, the handlebar end plugs are unsightly rounded black rubber knobs, rather than the attractive chrome-look plastic buttons that some companies supply.
  • It is a left-sided flatfish, with its eyes normally on the left side of the head, and it is scaleless, though its head and body are studded with numerous bony knobs, or tubercles.
lump, bump, protuberance, protrusion, bulge, swelling, knot, node, nodule, ball, boss
1.1A handle on a door or drawer shaped like a ball.
Example sentences
  • I turned the knob and pulled the door towards me.
  • She pulled at the knobs but the doors wouldn't open.
  • Updating a scheme can be as simple and economic as painting, replacing or removing unit doors, or updating accessories such as knobs and handles.
doorknob, handle, door handle
1.2A rounded button for adjusting or controlling a machine.
Example sentences
  • The keyboard has 40 buttons and knobs, and it's so complicated I'm sure flying Concorde would be easier.
  • I fiddled with the knob that controlled the water, turning it until the sprinkler was going full blast.
  • And all controls are push buttons instead of switches and knobs.
dial, button
1.3A small lump of a substance: add a knob of butter or margarine
More example sentences
  • I took a handful of fresh white breadcrumbs, a few leaves of fresh thyme, pan-toasted them in a knob of butter until crispy and golden, then set them aside.
  • The main courses were quickly spirited away, and generous bowls of steaming tomato soup brought, each with a slice of fresh bread and a knob of butter.
  • In a hot frying pan, add olive oil and a knob of butter.
1.4chiefly North American A prominent round hill.
1.5 vulgar slang A penis.


with (brass) knobs on

British informal And something more: it’s evocative, with knobs on
With allusion to the addition of decorative knobs to an object as an embellishment
More example sentences
  • Rifkind said: ‘This confirms our worst fears with knobs on.’
  • Romina said: ‘I thought the first time she developed a tumour was hell but when it came back it was hell with knobs on.’
  • This is Russian late-Romanticism with knobs on, grandiose choral and orchestral effects with the occasional touch of harmonic spice, that seem to belong more in some Hollywood epic than a concert hall.



Pronunciation: /näbd/
Example sentences
  • A mandibular condyle is the knobbed ending of the lower jaw; it joins the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull on both sides of the head at the temporomandibular joint.
  • Their instruments include long wooden drums, kettlegongs, knobbed gongs, cymbals, bamboo beaters, flutes, and buffalo horns.
  • Most of the shellfish remains in the Florida coast middens were oyster shells while shells of clams, knobbed whelks and periwinkles were present in lesser amounts.


Pronunciation: /ˈnäbē/
Example sentences
  • Hybrid bikes are bikes that generally have 27-inch tires which are larger and not usually as knobby as your average mountain bike; this makes them quicker and quieter.
  • Apple trees produce fruit on very short knobby branches, called spurs.
  • The nodules are disc-shaped, knobby, pale greenish-yellow, and 2-12 cm in diameter.


Pronunciation: /-ˌlīk/
Example sentences
  • Woolly mammoths grew to about the size of present-day Asiatic elephants, possessed warm coats consisting of long, brown guard hairs and soft underwool, large curved ivory tusks, and knob-like heads.
  • One end of the receptor cell extends to the epithelium where it forms a knob-like projection with cilia protruding from it; the other end of the receptor cell connects to a neuron.
  • In some taxa the bill has a conspicuous horny or fleshy knob-like projection.


Late Middle English: from Middle Low German knobbe 'knot, knob, bud'.

Words that rhyme with knob

blob, bob, cob, dob, fob, glob, gob, hob, job, lob, mob, nob, rob, slob, snob, sob, squab, stob, swab, throb, yob

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: knob

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