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See also: Knee




From Middle English kne, from Old English cnēo, from Proto-Germanic *knewą (compare Low German Knee, Dutch knie, German Knie, Danish knæ, Norwegian kne, Swedish knä), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵnéw-o-m, a thematic derivative of *ǵónu. Cognate with Hittite 𒄀𒉡 (genu), Latin genū, Tocharian A kanweṃ (dual), Tocharian B kenī, Ancient Greek γόνυ (gónu, knee), γωνία (gōnía, corner, angle), Old Armenian ծունր (cunr), Avestan 𐬲𐬥𐬎𐬨(žnum), Sanskrit जानु (jā́nu).

The obsolete plural kneen is from Middle English kneen, knen, kneon, kneuwene.



knee (plural knees or (obsolete or dialectal) kneen)

  1. In humans, the joint or the region of the joint in the middle part of the leg between the thigh and the shank.
    Penny was wearing a miniskirt, so she skinned her exposed knees when she fell.
  2. In the horse and allied animals, the carpal joint, corresponding to the wrist in humans.
  3. The part of a garment that covers the knee.
  4. (shipbuilding) A piece of timber or metal formed with an angle somewhat in the shape of the human knee when bent.
    • 1980, Richard W. Unger, The Ship in the Medieval Economy 600-1600, page 41
      Deck beams were supported by hanging knees, triangular pieces of wood typically found underneath the timbers they are designed to support, but in this case found above them.
  5. (archaic) An act of kneeling, especially to show respect or courtesy.
    To make a knee.
  6. Any knee-shaped item or sharp angle in a line; an inflection point.
    the knee of a graph
  7. A blow made with the knee; a kneeing.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


knee (third-person singular simple present knees, present participle kneeing, simple past and past participle kneed)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To kneel to.
    • 1605: I could as well be brought / To knee his throne and, squire-like, pension beg / To keep base life afoot. — William Shakespeare, King Lear II.ii
  2. (transitive) To poke or strike with the knee.


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of kne