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From Middle English knitten, from Old English cnyttan (to fasten, tie, bind, knit; add, append), from Proto-Germanic *knutjaną, *knuttijaną (to make knots, knit). Cognate with Old Norse knýta (Danish knytte) and Northern German knütten. More at knot.



knit (third-person singular simple present knits, present participle knitting, simple past and past participle knit or knitted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To turn thread or yarn into a piece of fabric by forming loops that are pulled through each other. This can be done by hand with needles or by machine.
    to knit a stocking
    The first generation knitted to order; the second still knits for its own use; the next leaves knitting to industrial manufacturers.
  2. (figuratively, transitive) To join closely and firmly together.
    The fight for survival knitted the men closely together.
    • Wiseman
      Nature cannot knit the bones while the parts are under a discharge.
    • Shakespeare
      Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit.
    • Milton
      Come, knit hands, and beat the ground, / In a light fantastic round.
    • Tennyson
      A link among the days, to knit / The generations each to each.
  3. (intransitive) To become closely and firmly joined; become compacted.
  4. (intransitive) To grow together.
    All those seedlings knitted into a kaleidoscopic border.
  5. (transitive) To combine from various elements.
    The witness knitted together his testimony from contradictory pieces of hearsay.
  6. (intransitive) Of bones: to heal following a fracture.
    I’ll go skiing again after my bones knit.
  7. (transitive) To form into a knot, or into knots; to tie together, as cord; to fasten by tying.
    • Bible, Acts x. 11
      a great sheet knit at the four corners
    • William Shakespeare
      When your head did but ache, / I knit my handkercher about your brows.
  8. (transitive) To draw together; to contract into wrinkles.
    • William Shakespeare
      He knits his brow and shows an angry eye.

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.

See alsoEdit


knit (plural knits)

  1. A knitted garment.
    • 2012, Melanie Calvert, Freycinet (page 105)
      There are grey Grecian tops and a light, sheer, silver cardigan. Stylish dark grey tailored trousers, silver thongs and shiny jet-black stilettos. Black sheer blouses with squared bib fronts, and expensive-looking black and dark grey woollen knits.