Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: cnocian

knock

1 verb
     
knock1 S1 W3
1

door

[intransitive] to hit a door or window with your closed hand to attract the attention of the people inside:
I knocked and knocked but nobody answered.
knock at/on
We knocked at the door but there was no one there.
Wilson went up and knocked on the door.
2

hit and move something

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to hit something with a short quick action so that it moves or falls
knock something out of/from something
As I got up, I knocked a pencil out of its holder.
He knocked the knife from my hand.
knock something over
At that moment, Sally knocked over her glass of wine.
knock something aside
She tried to knock the gun aside but she was not fast enough.
3

hit somebody hard

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to hit someone very hard:
He knocked her to the ground and kicked her.
knock somebody unconscious/cold/senseless (=hit someone so hard that they fall unconscious)
Simon could knock a man unconscious with one punch to the jaw.
Garry answered the door only to be knocked flying as two policemen came rushing in.
4

hit part of your body

[transitive] to hit something with part of your body
knock something against something
Morse knocked his shin against a suitcase standing just inside the door.
knock something on something
She knocked her head on a stone.
5

knock on doors

to go to every house or apartment in an area asking the people who live there for information or support:
Gathering that information means knocking on doors and asking people questions.
6

be knocking on the door

to be wanting to join a group or team - used in news reports:
Five countries have permanent seats on the UN Security Council but Germany and Japan, among others, are knocking on the door.
7

remove wall

[transitive] to remove a wall or part of a building in order to make a bigger room or space
knock something into something
We could make a bigger living space by knocking two rooms into one.
knock something through
The wall between the kitchen and the dining room has been partially knocked through.
8

knock a hole in/through something

to make a hole in something, especially a wall:
We could knock a hole through the wall into the cupboard.
9

criticize

[transitive] to criticize someone or their work, especially in an unfair or annoying way:
The British press always knock British winners at any sport.
'Designer fashion is silly.' ' Don't knock it, it's an important industry.'
10

ball

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to kick or hit a ball somewhere:
The aim is to knock the ball into the opposing goal.
11

knock somebody for six

British English informal to shock or upset someone very much or make them physically weak:
This flu has really knocked me for six.
12

knock the stuffing out of somebody

informal to make someone lose their confidence:
Suzanne was very upset when her mother left home. It knocked the stuffing out of her.
13

knock somebody sideways

British English to upset someone so much that it is difficult for them to deal with something:
His daughter's death knocked Tom sideways.
14

knock some sense into somebody/into somebody's head

informal to make someone learn to behave in a more sensible way:
The struggle to build up her own business had knocked some sense into her.
15

knock (somebody's) heads together

informal to tell people who are arguing that they must stop and behave more sensibly:
None of them can agree and it needs someone to knock heads together.
16

knock something on the head

British English informal to stop something happening:
We wanted to go for a picnic, but the rain's knocked that on the head.
17

knock somebody's socks off

also knock somebody dead spoken to surprise and please someone by being very impressive:
With that dress, you'll knock him dead.
18

knock somebody off their pedestal/perch

to stop admiring someone that you previously thought was perfect:
The press were determined to knock the princess off the pedestal that they had put her on.
19

knock spots off somebody/something

British English spoken to be much better than someone or something:
The new computer system knocks spots off the old one.
20

knock on wood

American English used to say that you hope your good luck so far will not change [= touch wood British English]
21

knock it off

spoken used to tell someone to stop doing something, because it is annoying you
22

make a noise

[intransitive] if an engine or pipes etc are knocking, they make a noise like something hard being hit, usually because something is wrong with them
23

heart

[intransitive] if your heart is knocking, it is beating hard, especially because you are afraid [= pound]
24

I'll knock your head/block off

spoken used when threatening to hit someone very hard:
If you say that again, I'll knock your head off!
25

knock the bottom out of something

informal to make something such as a market or industry fail suddenly:
A sudden drop in supplies of certain chemicals could knock the bottom out of the engineering industry.

➔ knock/beat somebody/something into a cocked hat

at cocked hat (1)

; ➔ knock somebody into shape

at shape1 (3)

; ➔ knees knocking (together)

at knee1 (4)

knock around

phrasal verb
1

hit somebody

knock somebody around

to hit someone several times:
My father used to knock me around.
2

relax

knock around (something)

to spend time somewhere, without doing anything very serious or important [= hang-around]:
On Saturdays I knock around with my friends.
We spent the day just knocking around the house.
3

travel

knock around something

to travel to different places [= kick around]:
For a couple of years we knocked around the Mediterranean.
4

ideas

knock something ↔ around

to discuss and think about an idea, plan etc with other people:
We've been knocking around a few ideas.
5

ball

knock something around

British English to play a game with a ball, but not in a serious way [= kick about]
6

be somewhere

British English if something or someone is knocking around, it is somewhere but you are not sure exactly where:
Is there a screwdriver knocking about anywhere?

knock somebody/something back

phrasal verb
1

knock something ↔ back

to quickly drink large quantities of a drink, especially an alcoholic drink:
Brenda knocked the brandy back quickly.
2

knock somebody back something

to cost you a lot of money:
His new car knocked him back several thousand dollars.
3

knock somebody back

British English to make someone feel upset, shocked, or physically weak

knock somebody/something down

phrasal verb
1

hit/push somebody

knock somebody ↔ down

to hit or push someone so that they fall to the ground:
Something hit him from behind and knocked him down.
knockdown2
2

hit somebody with a vehicle

knock somebody ↔ down

to hit someone with a vehicle while you are driving, so that they are hurt or killed:
A child was in hospital last night after being knocked down by a car.
3

destroy

knock something ↔ down

to destroy a building or part of a building [= demolish]:
They want to knock the house down and rebuild it.
4

reduce price

knock something ↔ down

informal to reduce the price of something by a large amount:
The new stove we bought was knocked down from $800 to $550.
knockdown1
5

ask somebody to reduce price

knock somebody down to something

informal to persuade someone to reduce the price of something they are selling you:
She's asking for £150 but I'll try to knock her down to £100.

knock something into somebody

phrasal verb
to make someone learn something:
Parsons must knock these lessons into the team before Saturday.

knock off

phrasal verb
1

stop work

knock off (something)

to stop working and go somewhere else:
There was no one in the office because they'd all knocked off for lunch.
Do you want to knock off early today?
We usually knock off work at about twelve on Saturday.
2

reduce a price

knock something ↔ off

to reduce the price of something by a particular amount:
I'll knock off £10.
knock something off something
Travel agents are knocking £50 and sometimes £100 off the price of holidays.
3

reduce amount

knock something ↔ off

to reduce a total by a particular amount
knock something off something
Moving house will knock an hour off Ray's journey to work.
4

produce

knock something ↔ off

to produce something quickly and easily:
Roland makes a lot of money knocking off copies of famous paintings.
5

murder

knock somebody ↔ off

to murder someone
6

steal

knock something ↔ off

British English to steal something

knock out

phrasal verb
1

unconscious

knock somebody ↔ out

to make someone become unconscious or go to sleep:
The champion knocked Biggs out in the seventh round.
knock yourself out
His head hit a table as he fell and he knocked himself out.
The nurse gave me some medicine which totally knocked me out.
knockout1 (1)
2

defeat

knock somebody/something ↔ out

to defeat a person or team in a competition so that they can no longer take part:
The German team were knocked out in the first round.
knock somebody/something out of something
He first hit the headlines when he knocked Becker out of the French Open Tournament.
knockout1 (3)
3

destroy

knock something ↔ out

to damage something so that it does not work:
The air raids were planned to knock out communications on the ground.
4

admire

knock somebody out

informal if something knocks you out, it is very impressive and surprises you because it is so good:
She loved the movie. It knocked her out.
knockout1 (2)
5

produce

knock something ↔ out

informal to produce something easily and quickly:
Paul has been knocking out new songs for the album.
6

knock yourself out

informal to work very hard in order to do something well

knock somebody/something ↔ over

phrasal verb
1 to hit someone with a vehicle while you are driving, so that they are hurt or killed:
A woman was knocked over by a bus last year.
2 American English informal to rob a place such as a shop or bank and threaten or attack the people who work there

knock something ↔ together

phrasal verb
to make something quickly, using whatever you have available:
We should be able to knock something together with what's in the fridge (=make a meal from items of food in the fridge).

knock somebody/something ↔ up

phrasal verb
1 to make something quickly and without using much effort:
Michael knocked up a shed in the back garden.
2 British English to wake someone up by knocking on their door:
What time do you want me to knock you up in the morning?
3 informal not polite to make a woman pregnant
WORD FOCUS: hit WORD FOCUS: hit
with your fist: punch, thump, bash

with your open hand as a punishment: smack, spank, slap

with a hammer: bang, hammer

in order to get attention: bang, knock, tap, hammer

accidentally: bump into, crash into, strike, bang, knock, collide (with)


See also
hit

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