Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: cneow

knee

1 noun
     
Related topics: Human
knee1 S2 W2 [countable]
1HBH the joint that bends in the middle of your leg:
Lucy had a bandage round her knee.
on your knees
She was on her knees (=kneeling) weeding the garden.
sink/fall/drop to your knees (=move so that you are kneeling)
Tim fell to his knees and started to pray.
a knee injury
2DC the part of your clothes that covers your knee:
His jeans had holes in both knees.
3

on somebody's knee

HBH on the top part of your legs when you are sitting down:
Daddy, can I sit on your knee?
4

knees knocking (together)

if your knees are knocking, you are feeling very afraid or very cold
5

on your knees

in a way that shows you have no power but want or need something very much:
He went on his knees begging for his job back.
6

bring somebody/something to their knees

a) to defeat a country or group of people in a war:
The bombing was supposed to bring the country to its knees.
b) to have such a bad effect on an organization, activity etc that it cannot continue [= cripple]:
The recession has brought many companies to their knees.
7

put/take somebody over your knee

old-fashioned to punish a child by hitting them
8

on bended knee(s)

old-fashioned in a way that shows great respect for someone

➔ learn/be taught something at your mother's knee

at mother1 (4)

; ➔ the bee's knees

at bee (5)

; ➔ weak at the knees

at weak (13)

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary