Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search




From Middle English knytten, 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 (whence Danish knytte, Norwegian Nynorsk knyta) 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.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 26,[1]
      Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
      Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
      To thee I send this written embassage,
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, 1 Samuel 18:1,[2]
      And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
    • 1637, John Milton, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634, London: Humphrey Robinson, p. 6,[3]
      Come, knit hands, and beate the ground
      In a light fantastick round.
    • 1672, Richard Wiseman, A Treatise of Wounds, London: Richard Royston,[4]
      Nature cannot knit the bones while the parts are under a discharge.
    • 1850, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, Canto 39, p. 60,[5]
      Her office there to rear, to teach,
      Becoming as is meet and fit
      A link among the days, to knit
      The generations each with 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.
  8. (transitive) To draw together; to contract into wrinkles.

Derived terms[edit]


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 also[edit]


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.
  2. A session of knitting.
    • 2014, Elvira Woodruff, To Knit or Not to Knit:
      It's always time for a bit of a knit.