See also: Knee



From Middle English kne, from Old English cnēow, 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.
  3. (reflexive) To move on the knees; to use the knees to move.
    • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 489:
      Hassan kneed himself up, over, in, soundlessly, feet on floor, knife out, eyes like blunter knife trying to cut darkness.



Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of kne

Norwegian NynorskEdit


From kne +‎ -e.


knee (present tense knear, past tense knea, past participle knea, passive infinitive kneast, present participle kneande, imperative kne)

  1. (intransitive) to kneel, to fall on one's knees
  2. (intransitive) to walk on one's knees
  3. (transitive) to poke or strike with the knee