- n. & v.
1 a (often attrib.) the joint between the thigh and the lower leg in humans. b the corresponding joint in other animals. c the area around this. d the upper surface of the thigh of a sitting person; the lap (held her on his knee).
2 the part of a garment covering the knee.
3 anything resembling a knee in shape or position, esp. a piece of wood or iron bent at an angle, a sharp turn in a graph, etc.
—v.tr. (knees, kneed, kneeing)
1 touch or strike with the knee (kneed the ball past him; kneed him in the groin).
2 colloq. cause (trousers) to bulge at the knee.
Phrases and idioms:
bend (or bow) the knee kneel, esp. in submission. bring a person to his or her knees reduce a person to submission. knee-bend the action of bending the knee, esp. as a physical exercise in which the body is raised and lowered without the use of the hands. knee-breeches close-fitting trousers reaching to or just below the knee. knee-deep
1 (usu. foll. by in) a immersed up to the knees. b deeply involved.
2 so deep as to reach the knees. knee-high so high as to reach the knees. knee-hole a space for the knees, esp. under a desk.
1 a sudden involuntary kick caused by a blow on the tendon just below the knee.
2 (attrib.) predictable, automatic, stereotyped.
1 = senses 1a, b of n.
2 a joint made of two pieces hinged together. knee-length reaching the knees. knee-pan the kneecap. knees-up Brit. colloq. a lively party or gathering. on (or on one's) bended knee (or knees) kneeling, esp. in supplication, submission, or worship.
Etymology: OE cneo(w)
Useful english dictionary. 2012.