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From Middle English knytten, from Old English cnyttan (to fasten, tie, bind, knit; add, append), from Proto-West Germanic *knuttijan, from Proto-Germanic *knutjaną, *knuttijaną (to make knots, knit).

Cognate with Low German knütten and Old Norse knýta (whence Danish knytte, Norwegian Nynorsk knyta). 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.
  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. 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.

Derived terms[edit]