Share this entry

Share this page

knit

Syllabification: knit

Definition of knit in English:

verb (knits, knitting; past and past participle knitted or (especially in sense 2) knit)

1 [with object] Make (a garment, blanket, etc.) by interlocking loops of wool or other yarn with knitting needles or on a machine.
Example sentences
  • Members of the cooperative spin and dye wool, knit sweaters, and also make ceramic crafts.
  • In the evenings, my mother read to us, and we knitted socks and sweaters for my dad in the army, and listened to the radio.
  • In her spare time, she knitted socks and jumpers.
1.1Make (a stitch or row of stitches) by interlocking loops of yarn.
Example sentences
  • At last I could knit a few rows, enjoy the process and then set down the needles.
  • The first thing we knitted was a kettle holder by casting on 20 stitches and knitting each row plain until it became a square.
  • After I knit about five rows, I saw my stitches were off and the pattern didn't look right.
1.2Knit with a knit stitch: knit one, purl one
More example sentences
  • Frowning in irritation, she picked up the lost stitch and started over, muttering darkly under her breath as she did so. ‘Purl one, knit one, purl one.’
2Unite or cause to unite: [no object]: disparate regions had begun to knit together under the king [with object]: he knitted together a squad of players other clubs had disregarded [as adjective, with submodifier]: (knit) a closely knit family
More example sentences
  • We are very fortunate to have a group of staff who knit together as a team and excel in what they do.
  • Europe, viciously divided against itself for centuries, has knit together into a democratic and civil society.
  • Small-leaved plants that tolerate close clipping will quickly knit together to form a seamless hedge.
Synonyms
unite, unify, come together, draw together, become closer, bond, fuse, coalesce, merge, meld, blend
2.1 [no object] (Of parts of a broken bone) become joined during healing.
Example sentences
  • He was taken to York District Hospital, where surgeons operated the next day, inserting a pin in the tibia to help knit the bones together.
  • He went for a final scan and it was all clear and the bone has knitted perfectly.
  • For the first 12 weeks I lay in bed at home in a morphine-induced haze as my bones slowly knitted.
3 [with object] Tighten (one’s brow or eyebrows) in a frown of concentration, disapproval, or anxiety.
Example sentences
  • Janice frowned and knitted her eyebrows together.
  • She frowned and knitted her eyebrows in frustration.
  • Joel's brown eyebrows were knitted in a small frown.
Synonyms
furrow, tighten, contract, gather, wrinkle

adjective

Back to top  
Denoting or relating to a knitting stitch made by putting the needle through the front of the stitch from left to right. Compare with purl1.
Example sentences
  • I've got the knit stitch down now, though not very consistent.
  • I've ripped back a few times already, whenever I happen to notice a misplaced purl or knit stitch.

noun

Back to top  
1A knitted fabric: a machine-washable knit
More example sentences
  • Another popular vintage detail is a shirt collar made from a different fabric, usually a knit.
  • It is made of 100% combed cotton brushed knit, and is colorfast so darks will stay dark.
  • The style is tight-fitting with side vents and an elastic waistband, typically made out of cotton or cotton/polyester blend jersey knit.
1.1A garment made of a knitted fabric: an array of casual knits
More example sentences
  • The collection is laid back and includes well worn jeans with oversized white shirts and thick knits, masculine suits and lots of simple cotton and jersey dresses.
  • The femme fatale showed off her curves in corseted cocktail frocks, clingy knits and tailored skirts.
  • High street shops are crammed full of camel-coloured knits, trousers, coats and jackets.
Synonyms
knitted garment, knitwear, woolen;

Origin

Old English cnyttan; related to German dialect knütten, also to knot1. The original sense was 'tie in or with a knot', hence 'join, unite' (sense 2 of the verb); an obsolete Middle English sense 'knot string to make a net' gave rise to sense 1 of the verb.

More
  • knot from (Old English):

    The words knot and knit, both Old English, are closely related. Something travelling fast might be described as going at a rate of knots. A knot here is a measure of speed, equivalent to one nautical mile an hour. In the days of sailing ships a line with knots tied at fixed intervals and a float at the end was run out into the sea over a certain time to gauge the ship's speed. If the line unwound very rapidly, with each knot appearing in quick succession, then the ship was going ‘at a rate of knots’. See also natty

Derivatives

knitter

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Along with 2,500 knitters across the UK, she would produce garments for Inverallan Knitwear in Clackmannanshire, a family firm which then exported the jumpers around the world.
  • She began her marathon knitting effort in Cambridge, along with six fellow knitters, and continued with the project when she moved to Chippenham just over a year ago.
  • Before our next campaign we need knitters to produce hats, scarves and gloves for children in the coldest regions of Europe.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…