- 1 [no object] Strike a surface noisily to attract attention, especially when waiting to be let in through a door: I knocked on the kitchen doorMore example sentences
- She went to Mark's apartment and knocked on the door.
- Tash was ready and waiting when David knocked at her door and ushered her into a waiting taxi.
- Jim hung his coat on a peg in the waiting area and walked over to the door, knocking quietly as he opened it.
- 1.1Strike or thump together or against something: my knees were knocking and my lips quiveringMore example sentences
- When I first met Madonna I was star-struck and my knees were knocking together because I was so nervous.
- In fact, she could almost feel her knees knocking together.
- His teeth were rattling in head, his legs had turned to jelly and his knees were knocking together like castanets.
- 1.2(Of a motor or other engine) make a regular thumping or rattling noise because of improper ignition.More example sentences
- The only time you should consider using a higher-octane gas is if your engine starts to knock or ping.
- This premature ignition (called knocking or pinging) lowers the power output and can damage the engine.
- While driving your car, you can also listen to the engine: if you hear knocking, it's a good sign that you have trouble.
- 2 [with object] Collide with (someone or something), giving them a hard blow: he deliberately ran into her, knocking her shoulder [no object]: he knocked into an elderly manMore example sentences
- The window suddenly swung open inside, the frame knocking him hard on the chin and sending him sprawling on his back.
- You might accidentally knock heads with your partner.
- Most of that evening was pretty much a blur, except I do remember when Adam knocked my elbow by mistake and made me spill a drink all over myself.
- 2.1Force to move or fall with a deliberate or accidental blow or collision: he’d knocked over a glass of waterMore example sentences
- She took a step forward and was nearly knocked over by a large man rushing past her.
- Two lamps had been knocked over and broken glass covered the floor.
- As she was reaching across the table, she accidentally knocked over her glass of Coke.
- 2.2Injure or damage by striking: she knocked her knee painfully on the table • figurative you have had a setback that has knocked your self-esteemMore example sentences
- Tom jolted out of his dream, wincing as he knocked his elbow against the bedpost.
- Ruth fell and knocked her head quite hard on the table.
- I sat up quickly and promptly knocked my head on the overhang.
- 2.3Make (a hole or a dent) in something by striking it forcefully: he suggests we knock a hole through the wall into the broom closetMore example sentences
- One rock knocked a four feet hole in a nearby wall and Mr Ayrton said some stones had been found three quarters of a mile away.
- In one case installation of the computer was delayed a day, and when the team arrived the next morning they found that a hole had been knocked through one of the walls already.
- Columbia broke into pieces during its return trip from space in 2003 because Nasa failed to spot that a hole had been knocked in its wing during launch.
- 2.4Demolish the barriers between (rooms or buildings): two of the downstairs rooms had been knocked into oneMore example sentences
- To the right are two further rooms which could be knocked into one.
- The café looks as if it had been two rooms knocked into one.
- Georgieva gestures around her office, which consists of two rooms knocked into one.
- 2.5 • informal Talk disparagingly about; criticize.More example sentences
- Critics knock the X3 for its austere interior, but most BMWs tend toward the spartan.
- That's because whenever they do, they never offer any praise, they will just jump straight in and start knocking what I've done.
- I'm not knocking the company, but it's going to be too small for institutional investors.
nounBack to top
- 1A sudden short sound caused by a blow, especially on a door to attract attention or gain entry.More example sentences
- There was a sudden knock at the door, the noise seemingly unnatural and loud in the silence that I had gotten accustomed to in the past half-hour.
- She was gazing into the mirror, not really paying attention to the task at hand when a knock sounded at the door.
- All of a sudden there was a knock at the front door.
- 1.1A continual thumping or rattling sound made by an engine because of improper ignition.More example sentences
- When added to gasoline in minute amounts, tetraethyl lead prevents engine knock and increases the gasoline's octane rating.
- In the 1920s, lead was added to petrol, and this addition allowed vehicles to reach higher speeds without engine knock.
- Petrol fuels contain a host of additives to enhance octane rating, lower engine knock and counteract water.
- 2A blow or collision: the casing is tough enough to withstand knocksMore example sentences
- No matter how well you drive, with such tight racing and constant jostling for places it is inevitable that you will incur a few bumps and knocks along the way.
- Bumps and knocks to the head are quite common, particularly among children.
- While the shell does protect the phone's internal components from everyday knocks and bumps, it is not waterproof, merely water resistant.
- 2.1An injury caused by a blow or collision.More example sentences
- But Henry dismissed the injuries as minor knocks and vowed every member of the touring party would be fit for the three-Test battle against the world champions next month.
- Obviously whenever I do pick up an injury or a knock, people tend to highlight it.
- Richard Walton could also miss out with a back injury but Ian Simpson should have recovered from a knock to take his place in the side.
- 2.2A discouraging experience; a setback: the region’s industries have taken a severe knockMore example sentences
- Scotland has become a harsher place and our image as a tolerant and open minded nation has taken a severe knock.
- As the weeks passed, it became ever harder to make ends meet and a £140 servicing for Vivienne's car was a severe knock.
- Steeton saw their chance of promotion from Division One take a severe knock when they were beaten 2-1 at Ardsley Celtic.
- 2.3 • informal A critical comment.More example sentences
- In recent seasons, the FA Cup has taken a few knocks from the critics, but in my eyes there is still a lot of magic associated with the competition.
- If they want to get ahead, Ms McIntosh says, women have to be prepared to develop thick skins, and the confidence to take the knocks and criticism that go with a high-powered job.
- This is no knock against Lucas, who does a fine job in his short scenes, but it is a structural problem that the film does not entirely solve.
knock someone's block off
- • informal Hit someone very hard in anger.More example sentences
- In fact, I scared one of them half to death when I walked through the door; she tried to knock my block off with a mop as she thought I was an intruder!
- I'd like to see it myself, except that someone would probably recognize me and try to knock my block off.
- I get home from school a few days later and my mother is looking like she wants to knock my block off.
knock the bottom out of
- see bottom.
knock someone dead
- • informal Greatly impress someone.More example sentences
- This album is trying too hard to be smooth and pleasing to the masses, meaning that Wright ends up crooning uninterestingly where she should be knocking us dead.
- He is so confident that his new energy drink will knock them dead in the market place that he is planning to take on the likes of Lucozade and Red Bull.
- I am 5ft 8in, size 8, and want to wear something that will knock him dead.
knock someone for six
- see six.
knock someone for a loop
- see loop.
knock people's heads together
- see at bang1.
knock something into a cocked hat
- see cocked hat.
knock someone/something into shape
- see shape.
knock it off
- • informal Used to tell someone to stop doing something that one finds annoying or foolish.More example sentences
- Danielle, knock it off. The overprotective mother role doesn't suit you.
- The couple who are renting the place next to mine spent the entire night fighting. They didn't knock it off until well past two in the morning.
- If you're doing this as an attempt to Henry make break off his engagement with his fianceé, knock it off, because it ain't gonna happen!
knock someone on the head
- Stun or kill someone by a blow on the head.More example sentences
- If you knocked someone on the head and stole their wallet you would be punished.
- Before Mackenzie could react, she was knocked on the head.
- The next thing he knew something hard had knocked him on the head and he had awakened with a throbbing headache and an ugly bruise.
knock on wood
- see wood.
knock someone's socks off
- see sock.
the school of hard knocks
- Painful or difficult experiences that are seen to be useful in teaching someone about life.More example sentences
- They will very soon get the shock of their lives and learn some very painful lesson in the school of hard knocks.
- Unfortunately his father lost his fortune shortly thereafter, and Finlay instead received instruction from the school of hard knocks as he grew up amid grinding poverty in the Glasgow slums.
- I've learned the hard way at the school of hard knocks.
you could have knocked me (or her, him, etc.) down (or over) with a feather
- • informal Used to express great surprise.More example sentences
- But when I read it, you could have knocked me down with a feather.
- I felt sure it was something physical like a virus, so you could have knocked me down with a feather when he diagnosed depression.
knock around (or about) • informal
- Travel without a specific purpose: for a couple of years she and I knocked around the MediterraneanMore example sentences
- I've been trying to keep busy over the last few days as knocking around the house in the middle of the week, when my wife is at work and Zachery is at school is a strangely hollow experience.
- His years knocking around what was then known as the Far East as a freelance writer and journalist had given him an encyclopaedic knowledge of tropical conditions.
- I should point out that despite several years of Spanish and some time knocking around in Germany, I'm a hopeless monoglot.
- Happen to be present: it gets confusing when there are too many people knocking aboutMore example sentences
- There's a huge amount of real evidence knocking around that's being ignored by the media.
- Suddenly songs that had been knocking around in his head for more than a decade were finding new life.
- I conjectured on the basis of their compilation appearances that the band had been knocking about for a while, and they may very well have been, but this new single is actually their debut release.
- chiefly British Spend time with someone: she knocked around with artistsMore example sentences
- He spent several years working the circuit before heading out to Nashville where he knocked around with the up-and-coming country stars.
- He has knocked around with Cuban revolutionaries and Chilean novelists, New York jazz musicians and San Francisco bohemians, in the global intellectual village that stretches from Lima to Mysore.
- The 15-year-old cousin he knocked around with in Redfern had been kicked out of their family's home town of Walgett as a public nuisance
knock someone/something about (or around)
- Injure or damage someone or something by rough treatment.More example sentences
- Being here made me realize what I was missing by being rough with you and knocking you around and flirting with other girls.
- Your father was knocked about by the Depression, as nearly every man was, I suppose.
- ‘They chased after me and started knocking me about,’ she said.
knock something back
- • informal Consume a drink quickly and entirely: we knocked back a few beersMore example sentences
- The recommended way to enjoy soju or sake, the national drinks of South Korea and Japan, is by quickly knocking them back in short, small shots.
- We clinked glasses and I knocked my drink back, feeling the burn in my throat and the warmth in my stomach.
- Drinkers across the social spectrum are knocking it back like never before and the pressure to join in has never been stronger.
- chiefly British (Of a person or vehicle) strike or collide with someone so as to cause them to fall to the ground.More example sentences
- The pedestrian went over the bonnet of a car after she was knocked down by a driver who had taken his friend's vehicle, the court was told.
- The two boys jumped on him and knocked him down to the carpeted floor.
- A villager managed to film the attack before he was knocked down, his camera smashed and his arm broken.
knock something down
- 1Demolish a building.More example sentences
- Some people are buying bungalows on the seafront, knocking them down and building another property.
- They thought knocking the building down and replacing it with a new one would be a cheaper option.
- He told the Institute of Chartered Accountants that it would cost far less to refurbish ‘characterful’ buildings than knock them down.
- 2(At an auction) confirm the sale of an article to a bidder by a knock with a hammer.More example sentences
- On Sunday, November 3 a large crowd turned out as auctioneer Matt Dunne set to with the gavel to knock items down to the highest bidder.
- 2.1 • informal Reduce the price of an article.More example sentences
- The vandalism and burglaries in the area are knocking house prices down.
- On the day of exchange they knocked the price down by £85,000.
- Originally priced $35, it was knocked down to $30.
- • informal Stop work.More example sentences
- The typical Australian working day starts in the sunshine at 8am, and shortly after everyone knocks off at 4pm, the parks will be full of men chucking a ball about until the sun goes down.
- They worked on the project three or four afternoons a week, knocking off around five to drink beer and talk.
- Why can't they have patrols instead of knocking off from work early in the day.
knock someone off
- 1 • informal Kill someone.More example sentences
- In fact, I strongly suspect he's concocting a game of his own which involves knocking off family members one by one.
- In that film, McCormack is a devilish child who begins knocking off fellow classmates and even the family gardener when they dare to get in her way.
- They started robbing graves but found the demand for bodies outstripped supply so they started knocking off Edinburgh lowlifes who they reasoned would not be missed.
knock something off
- 1 • informal Produce a piece of work quickly and easily, especially to order.More example sentences
- The boys amble about swapping melodies whilst knocking off a string of sunshine West Coast pop hits with unerring ease.
- I've been up for an hour or so knocking off a couple of pieces two whole days before the deadline.
- 2 • informal Deduct an amount from a total: when the bill came, they knocked off $600 because of a little scratchMore example sentences
- The food was bad, though, and we sent it back and they knocked the charge off our bill.
- The very least they could do is knock a few pounds off our electricity bills, just as a gesture of good faith.
- A slightly more restrictive exhaust system knocks 5 hp off the engine's 220 hp output.
- 3British • informal Steal something.More example sentences
- She'd heard about all the trouble we'd been having with vandals and thieves knocking our gear off, so she said she would feel safer if the posters were inside.
- 3.1 • informal Make an illegal copy of a product.More example sentences
- Oh, well, they'll probably sell a load of them at that price before some knocks it off for $5.
knock someone out
- Make a person unconscious, typically with a blow to the head.More example sentences
- The blows knocked me out and the last thing I remember was him screaming: ‘It's all your fault!’
- The blow didn't knock her out, but she crashed to the floor and struggled for breath.
- Scottsdale went down next; a blow to his head knocked him out cold.
- Knock down (a boxer) for a count of ten, thereby winning the contest.More example sentences
- In a fight similar to Frazier's destruction of Bob Foster, Tyson knocked Spinks out in the first round.
- I have not a doubt that had Foreman and Tyson fought anytime between 1990 and 1997 that Foreman would have knocked Tyson out inside of three rounds.
- Just for the record, I picked Frazier to knock Foreman out in 1973.
- (knock oneself out) • informal Work so hard that one is exhausted.More example sentences
- Other times I knock myself out trying too hard to be nice to people.
- It's a truism that career ladders are based on the traditional male life plan - he knocks himself out in his 20s and 30s while his wife raises the kids, mends his socks and types his papers.
- Still, compared to important experiences like meeting my husband and having my kids, having lots of money doesn't seem to be an experience worth knocking yourself out for.
- • informal Astonish or greatly impress someone.More example sentences
- The Hollywood Reporter stated that ‘this movie knocks you out with an astonishing blend of hyper-realism, visual complexity and powerful themes’.
- ‘I am knocked out by it - really stunned,’ said Josephine, whose award marks Adult Learners Week in the Eastern region.
- This is the kind of movie that knocks you out with the buildings alone.
knock something out
- 1Destroy a machine or damage it so that it stops working.More example sentences
- Water and sewage lines were heavily damaged and electricity in the area was knocked out after the main transformer was hit.
- In 1989 a solar flare that hit the Earth directly actually knocked out a whole power grid in Quebec.
- Tragically, the hit knocked out power and radio contact with the three escort ships.
- 1.1Destroy or disable enemy installations or equipment.More example sentences
- His only option was to chase the enemy ships, and knock them out while they were still running.
- 2 • informal Produce work at a steady fast rate: if you knock out a thousand words a day you’ll soon have it finishedMore example sentences
- They became the country version of The Rat Pack, getting into trouble together and knocking out hit after hit.
- It was taking me about 3-4 weeks a month to write each script, and she told me how very foolish this was, when I could have knocked them out and been making real money.
- They have been knocking out folk classics since 1975 and have performed in a variety of clubs across the county.
knock something over
- North American • informal Rob a store or similar establishment: they knocked over a liquor storeMore example sentences
- First they're nicking comic books, then knocking off whole banks!
- If their children develop behavioral disorders at school, drop out, turn to drugs and begin knocking off 7-Elevensthey won't be surprised.
knock someone sideways
- • informal Astonish someone.More example sentences
- The sheer wealth and size and richness of America knocked me sideways.
- Every now and then, something came up which would completely knock you sideways.
- When they performed this on TOTP, I was knocked sideways.
knock something together
- Assemble something in a hasty and makeshift way.More example sentences
- I knocked a nice dinner together - thick-cut ham, bubble & squeak, tomato salad and baked beans, followed by a pot of black cherry yoghurt - and enjoyed it greatly.
- He's knocking some tracks together and trying to get an album together at the moment.
- First-aid and tool kits were knocked together from bits and pieces, and numerous repairs and modifications made the boat safer and diving from her easier.
knock someone up
- 1 • vulgar slang Make a woman pregnant.More example sentences
- It takes a lot more than knocking someone up to be a real father.
- Apparently when she was twenty-two he knocked her up and promised her that they would live happily ever after.
- Don't think you can just knock me up and expect not to deal with the consequences.
- 2British Knock at someone’s door.More example sentences
- Eventually, after having no luck at all with the key, I had to go next door and knock them up.
- I'll knock you up at five to seven and I'd like you downstairs for breakfast at seven sharp.
- Some were formal duties, such as inspecting weights and measures or inspecting bridges, others were informal, such as knocking people up early in the morning for work.
Old English cnocian, of imitative origin.