Definition of knock in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɒk/
Pronunciation: /nɒk/


1 [no object] Strike a surface noisily to attract attention, especially when waiting to be let in through a door: he strolled over and knocked on a door marked Enquiries
More 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.
bang, tap, rap, thump, pound, hammer;
strike, hit, beat, batter, buffet, pummel
1.1Strike or thump together or against something: her heart knocked painfully behind her ribs
More 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, e.g. through pinking.
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 against her, knocking her shoulder [no object]: he knocked into an elderly man with a walking stick
More 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.
collide with, bump into, bang into, knock against, hit, strike, be in collision with, run into, crash into, smash into, plough into, slam into, dash against, ram, jolt;
North American  impact
informal bash into
2.1 [with object and adverbial of direction] Force to move or fall with a deliberate or accidental blow or collision: he’d knocked over a glass of water
More 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-esteem
More 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.
bump, bang, hit, strike, crack;
injure, hurt, damage, bruise
informal bash, thwack
2.3Make (a hole or a dent) in something by striking it forcefully: you’ll need to knock a hole in the wall
More 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 one
More 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.
3 [with object] informal Talk disparagingly about; criticize.
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.
criticize, find fault with, run down, disparage, belittle, depreciate, deprecate, detract from, give a bad press to, cast aspersions on, scoff at, deride, jeer at, carp at, cavil at;
lambaste, censure, condemn, denounce, revile, attack
informal slam, pan, bash, pull to pieces, pull apart, pick holes in, maul, savage, flay, throw brickbats at, shoot down, give something a battering, talk something down, have a go at, bad-mouth
British informal slate, rubbish, slag off
North American informal trash, pummel
Australian/New Zealand informal bag
4 [with object] informal Approach (a specified age): he’s younger than his brother—knocking seventy
More example sentences
  • Overall, I'm not bad for a man knocking 60.
  • He sounded a little disappointed to hear that they were all knocking thirty.


1A sudden short sound caused by a blow, especially on a door to attract attention or gain entry.
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.
tap, rap, rat-tat, rat-tat-tat, knocking, bang, banging, beating, pounding, hammering, drumming, thump, thud
1.1 [mass noun] A continual thumping or rattling sound made by an engine.
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 knocks
More 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.
bump, blow, bang, striking, beating, jolt, jar, jarring, shock;
collision, crash, smash, impact
blow, bang, stroke, hit, slap, smack, crack, buffet, punch, cuff, thump, box
informal clip, clout, wallop, thwack, belt, bash
2.1A discouraging experience; a setback: the region’s industries have taken a severe knock
More 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.
setback, reversal, reverse of fortune, rebuff, rejection, defeat, failure, difficulty, misfortune, bad luck, stroke of bad luck, mishap, bad experience, blow, body blow, disaster, calamity, disappointment, grief, sorrow, trouble, hardship
informal kick in the teeth, one in the eye, whammy
2.2 informal A critical comment.
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.
criticism, disparagement, stricture, fault-finding, denigration, censure, reproach, reproval, condemnation, lambasting
informal slamming, panning, slagging off, rubbishing, slating, flak, brickbats
3 Cricket , informal An innings, especially of an individual batsman: a splendid knock of 117 against Somerset
More example sentences
  • A feature of the NatWest Series was how well Australia adjusted a couple of times to difficult surfaces, with Mike Hussey in particular playing some splendid knocks under pressure.
  • Ian Winterbottom held the innings together with a knock of 51.
  • Jeff Whitmore assisted with a captain's knock of 42 before being caught of a big Brad Tanner delivery.



knock someone's block off

informal Hit someone very hard.
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.
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 people's heads together


knock something into a cocked hat


knock someone into the middle of next week

informal Hit someone very hard.

knock someone/thing into shape

see shape.

knock it off

informal Stop doing something.
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!
stop it
informal cut it out, give it a rest, leave off, pack it in, lay off, quit
British informal give over

knock someone on the head

Stun or kill someone by a blow to the head.
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 something on the head

British informal Prevent an idea, plan, or proposal from being developed or carried out: the fond belief that the weather is always better in California than in Europe was firmly knocked on the head this week
More example sentences
  • The stunning songwriter has sustained a glittering career, but she's had enough and she's knocking it on the head.
  • ANY suggestion that refurbishment work on Portlaoise's main street would start before Christmas has been knocked on the head.
  • Plans by the owners of Barrington's Private Hospital in Limerick to develop a €12m 40-bed medical clinic in Ferrybank have been knocked on the head by An Bord Pleanála.

knock on wood

see touch wood at wood.

knock someone's socks off

see sock.

knock spots off

British informal Easily outdo.
Example sentences
  • So far, broadcasting certainly knocks spots off work experience at local papers, and I'm getting on top of new techniques, technology and tricks every day.
  • The Paris Metro knocks spots off London's Tube, but the standard map of the various lines and destinations can be a touch confusing for the uninitiated.
  • In terms of value for money, this knocks spots off many of the established brands of Champagne.

the school of hard knocks

Painful or difficult experiences that are seen to be useful in teaching someone about life.
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 with a feather

informal Used to express great surprise.
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.

Phrasal verbs


knock about (or around)

Travel without a specific purpose: for a couple of years she and I knocked around the Mediterranean
More 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.
wander, roam, rove, range, travel, travel idly, journey, voyage, globetrot, drift, coast, meander, gad about, gallivant, jaunt, take a trip, go on a trip;
ramble, stroll, saunter, maunder, amble, traipse, dawdle, potter;
traverse, travel round, roam around, range over
rare peregrinate, perambulate, vagabond
1.1Happen to be present: it gets confusing when there are too many people knocking about
More 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 1.2 Spend time with someone: she knocked around with artists
More 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
associate, consort, keep company, go around, mix, socialize, have dealings, have to do with, accompany, escort;
be friends, be friendly
informal hobnob, hang out, run around, be thick with, chum around, pal around, pal up

knock someone/thing about (or around)

Injure or damage by rough treatment.
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.
beat up, beat, batter, strike, hit, punch, thump, thrash, smack, slap, cuff, buffet, pummel, belabour;
maltreat, mistreat, abuse, ill-treat, ill-use, treat roughly, assault, attack, maul, manhandle;
injure, damage, cause injury to, hurt, harm, wound, bruise;
North American  beat up on
informal rough up, do over, lay into, lace into, give someone a hiding, clobber, clout, bash, belt, whack, wallop, sock, plug, deck
archaic smite

knock someone back

British informal
1Reject or discourage a person or their request or suggestion: he applied for funding for nine different projects and was knocked back each time
More example sentences
  • Their request for funds from the Football Foundation was knocked back four times.
  • I feel embarrassed knocking him back seeing as we've had such a nice conversation and I don't want him to be wasting time with me if he wants to be chatting up some other woman.
  • Plans to expand a childcare centre in a residential street in Alstonville have been knocked back by Ballina Council, despite a staff recommendation to approve the application.
2Cost someone a specified, typically large, amount of money: buying that house must have knocked them back a bit
More example sentences
  • Townhouse-style properties cost in the region of £300,000, while a second-hand villa in Nice, Cannes or Villefranche will knock you back at least £450,000 to £500,000.

knock something back

1 informal Consume a drink quickly.
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.
swallow, gulp down, drink up, swill down, swill, quaff, guzzle, toss off, consume, finish
informal down, swig
get one's laughing gear round
North American informal scarf (down/up), snarf (down/up), chug
rare ingurgitate, bib
2Work risen dough by vigorous kneading to expel air before baking.
Example sentences
  • In the morning, I knock it back and leave it to prove again before baking.

knock someone down (or over)

chiefly British (Especially of a vehicle) strike or collide with someone so as to cause them to fall to the ground: I was nearly knocked down by a bus
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.
fell, floor, flatten, bring down, prostrate, topple, knock to the ground, throw to the ground, rugby-tackle;
mug, attack, assault, set upon, beat up;
knock over, run over, run down

knock something down

1Demolish a building or other structure: the closely packed terraced houses were knocked down in the interests of ‘progress’
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.
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.
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.
reduce, lower, cut, decrease, bring down, drop, put down, diminish, mark down
informal slash, down
3US informal Earn a specified sum as a wage.
4Australian /NZ informal Spend a pay cheque freely.

knock off

informal Stop work.
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.
stop work, finish work, finish working, clock off, close shop, shut down, leave work, finish the working day;
take a break, break, break off, rest, pause, stop, halt, finish
informal call it a day, have a breather, take five

knock someone off

1 informal Kill someone.
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.
kill, murder, assassinate, do to death, do away with, make away with, get rid of, dispose of, eliminate, liquidate, terminate, finish off
informal do in, bump off, top, polish off, croak, stiff
North American informal waste, blow away, ice, off, rub out
literary slay
2British vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse with a woman.

knock something off

1 informal Produce a piece of work quickly and without much effort.
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.
produce, make, turn out, create, construct, assemble, fashion, put together, fabricate;
complete, finish;
2 informal Deduct an amount from a total: when the bill came they knocked off £600 because of a little scratch
More 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.
deduct, take off, subtract, take away, dock, debit, remove
3British informal Steal something.
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.
steal, purloin, take, make off with, abscond with, pilfer, misappropriate;
thieve, rob
informal nab, snitch, snaffle, swipe, filch, lift, souvenir
British informal pinch, nick, half-inch, whip, nobble
North American informal heist, glom
Australian informal snavel
West Indian informal tief
3.1North American informal Rob a shop or similar establishment.
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-Elevens—they won't be surprised.
3.2 informal Make an illegal copy of a product.
Example sentences
  • Oh, well, they'll probably sell a load of them at that price before some knocks it off for $5.

knock on

1 informal Grow old: she’s knocking on a bit
More example sentences
  • Henning was always a great defender, even when he was knocking on a bit.
  • He's a hard-bitten, funny character who admits that he's knocking on.
2 (also knock the ball on) Rugby Illegally drive the ball with the hand or arm towards the opponents' goal line.
Example sentences
  • Chris Spencer drove through the Elland defence but was judged to have knocked on after crossing the line.
  • Neil Back escaped with a warning after deliberately knocking the ball on, just out of Burke's penalty reach.
  • Rugby is a free flowing game and the play will only stop when somebody knocks the ball on or gives away a penalty.

knock someone out

1Make a person unconscious, typically with a blow to the head.
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.
stun, strike unconscious, knock unconscious, render unconscious, knock senseless, stupefy, daze, lay out, floor, prostrate, level
informal KO, kayo, knock cold, put out cold
1.1Knock down (a boxer) for a count of ten, thereby winning the contest.
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.
1.2 (knock oneself out) informal Work so hard that one is exhausted.
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.
exhaust, wear out, tire out, overtire, overtax, tire, fatigue, weary, enervate, drain, sap, debilitate, enfeeble, prostrate
informal do in, take it out of, fag out, frazzle
British informal knacker
North American informal poop
1.3 informal Astonish or greatly impress someone.
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.
2Defeat a competitor in a knockout competition: England had been knocked out of the World Cup
More example sentences
  • When Brazil were knocked out of the Olympic Games quarter-finals in Sydney two years ago, public opinion demanded the politicians investigate.
  • The tie also gives Liverpool a chance for revenge as they were knocked out of the competition by the Germans on a 4-3 aggregate at the quarter-final stage in 2002.
  • Andre Agassi was knocked out of the French Open in the second round.
beat, defeat, vanquish, overwhelm, overthrow, overcome, get the better of, trounce

knock something out

1Destroy, damage, or disable a machine or piece of equipment: the fault disabled two backup systems and knocked out the computer
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.
2 informal Produce work at a steady fast rate: if you knock out a thousand words a day you’ll soon have finished
More 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.
3Empty a tobacco pipe by tapping it against a surface.
4Australian /NZ informal Earn a specified sum of money.

knock someone over

another way of saying knock someone down .

knock something over

North American informal Rob a shop or similar establishment.
Example sentences
  • If I'd knocked over a liquor store that day instead of accepting John's offer, I'd have been out of prison and off parole long before now.

knock someone sideways

informal Astonish someone.
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.
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 up

British informal (In a racket game) practise before formal play begins.
Example sentences
  • The idea came when they were knocking up one day last June on the grass courts at Roehampton.
  • She knocks up with England's seventh seed Elena Baltacha and recently had the chance to play doubles with British number one Tim Henman when he visited the sports centre.
  • The players are on court and are knocking up.
warm up, practise, have a practice game, hit a ball around

knock someone up

1British Wake or attract the attention of someone by knocking at their door.
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.
wake, wake up, waken, awaken, call, rouse, arouse, get out of bed, get up
informal give someone a shout
2 informal Make a woman pregnant.
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.
make pregnant, impregnate, inseminate
informal put in the family way
British informal get in the club
archaic get with child

knock something up

1British Make something in a hurry.
Example sentences
  • OK the bar man didn't know what a Singapore Sling was but he still managed to improvise and knock something up for us.
  • I don't think I have ever seen a film shot entirely with a hand-held camera that didn't feel as if it had been knocked up over the weekend for 300 quid.
  • I'll knock something up about Solaris if you want; it's all I've seen of Tarkovsky so far, but it's marvellous.
make quickly, put together quickly, prepare hastily, build rapidly, whip up, rig up, jerry-build, throw together, cobble together, improvise, devise, contrive;
make, prepare, produce, get, get ready, assemble, put together
informal fix, rustle up
2 Cricket Score runs rapidly.
Example sentences
  • In first class games, Harvey has knocked up 5,745 runs with nine centuries and 32 half-centuries and has captured 332 wickets.
  • Durham are proving to be this summer's surprise package and there was no doubting their superiority as they bowled out Yorkshire for 205 after knocking up 256 for four.
  • The former Nottinghamshire player took three for 60 off 18 overs as Mirfield knocked up 194.
achieve, attain, accomplish, gain, win, succeed in making, reach, make, get, obtain;
score, chalk up, tally, record
informal clock up, notch up, rack up, bag


Old English cnocian, of imitative origin.

  • The origin of this word is probably an attempt to imitate the sound. When you decide to finish an idea or plan you may say that you are going to knock it on the head, a phrase well established in English by the late 16th century. To knock spots off someone is to outdo them easily. The expression probably comes from the world of competitive shooting. Contestants keen to show off their skilled marksmanship would be required to shoot out the pips or spots on a playing card. The winner would be the person who shot out the most pips—and who might then be described as having ‘knocked spots off’ their rivals. The sense ‘speak disparagingly about’ is recorded from the late 19th century in US usage.

Words that rhyme with knock

ad hoc, amok, Bangkok, baroque, belle époque, bloc, block, bock, brock, chock, chock-a-block, clock, doc, dock, floc, flock, frock, hock, hough, interlock, jock, langue d'oc, lock, Locke, Médoc, mock, nock, o'clock, pock, post hoc, roc, rock, schlock, shock, smock, sock, Spock, stock, wok, yapok

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