Definition of knee noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//niː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//niː//
    Body parts, Parts of clothing
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  1. 1   the joint between the top and bottom parts of the leg where it bends in the middle a knee injury I grazed my knee when I fell. He went down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She was on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. Everyone was down on (their) hands and knees(= crawling on the floor) looking for the ring. My knees were knocking (= I was frightened). See related entries: Body parts
  2. 2  the part of a piece of clothing that covers the knee These jeans are torn at the knee. a knee patch See related entries: Parts of clothing
  3. 3   the top surface of the upper part of the legs when you are sitting down synonym lap Come and sit on Daddy's knee. More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  4. Word OriginOld English cnēow, cnēo, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch knie and German Knie, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin genu and Greek gonu.Extra examples He dropped to one knee. He hugged his knees to keep warm. He patted her knee reassuringly. He refuses to wear a knee brace. He slapped his knee as he rocked with laughter. He was on his knees, searching for the missing spring. He went down on his knees and begged for forgiveness. He’s snapped a ligament in his knee. His leg was missing below the knee. I balanced the pile of books on my knees. I injured my knee and had to have surgery. I rested my chin on my drawn-up knees. I was on my hands and knees, looking for my key. I went down on one knee to plug in the vacuum cleaner. If you hear the crash-landing warning, put your head between your knees. Rita felt her knees weakening. She had a blanket draped across her knees. She sat on her father’s knee while he read her a story. She sat on her father’s knee= lap while he read her a story. She sat up and pulled her knees to her chest. She would ask for a rise, but would not beg for one on bended knee. Suddenly her knees buckled and she fell to the floor. The blow knocked him to his knees. The children had learned these stories at their mother’s knee. The fuel shortage brought the country to its knees within weeks.Idioms
    at your mother’s knee
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    when you were very young I learnt these songs at my mother's knee.
    (informal) an excellent person or thing She thinks she's the bee's knees (= she has a very high opinion of herself).
    bring somebody to their knees
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    to defeat somebody, especially in a war
    bring something to its knees
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    to badly affect an organization, etc. so that it can no longer function The strikes brought the industry to its knees.
    if you ask for something on bended knee(s), you ask for it in a very anxious and/or humble way I’d go down on bended knee if I thought she’d change her mind.
    put somebody over your knee
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    to punish somebody by making them lie on top of your knee and hitting their bottom
    (informal) hardly able to stand because of emotion, fear, illness, etc. His sudden smile made her go weak at the knees. See related entries: Fear, Being ill
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: knee