From Middle English kneden, from Old English cnedan, from Proto-West Germanic *knedan, from Proto-Germanic *knudaną, from Proto-Indo-European *gnet- (to press together).



knead (third-person singular simple present kneads, present participle kneading, simple past kneaded or (obsolete) knead, past participle kneaded or (archaic) kneaden or (obsolete) knodden)

  1. (transitive) To work and press into a mass, usually with the hands; especially, to work, as by repeated pressure with the knuckles, into a well mixed mass, the materials of bread, cake, etc.
    • 2001, Özcan Ozan; Carl Tremblay, The Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook:
      Knead the dough by pressing down on it with the heels of both your palms and pushing it forward to stretch it, then pulling it back toward you...
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To treat or form as if by kneading; to beat.
  3. (intransitive, felinology) Of cats, to make an alternating pressing motion with the two front paws.
    • 1991, Grace McHattie, That's cats!: a compendium of feline facts:
      Cats knead with their paws when happy, just as they kneaded when feeding from their mothers as kittens.
  4. (transitive) To mix thoroughly; form into a homogeneous compound.




knead (plural kneads)

  1. The act of kneading something.
    • 2011, Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters:
      Do not expect the dough to be very manageable even after a good knead.

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