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From Middle English knobbe, from Middle Low German knobbe (knob; knot in wood). Cognate with Dutch knob, knobbel (knob), German Knubbe, Knubbel (knob). See also knop.



knob (plural knobs)

  1. A rounded protuberance, handle, or control switch.
  2. (geography) A prominent rounded hill.
  3. A rounded ornament on the hilt of an edged weapon; a pommel.
  4. A prominent, rounded bump along a mountain ridge.
  5. (plural) (slang) Breasts.
  6. (England, New Zealand, some parts of America, vulgar, slang) A penis.
  7. (slang, pejorative, by analogy with above) A contemptible person.
  8. (cooking) A dollop, an amount just larger than a spoonful (usually referring to butter)
  9. A chunky branch-like piece, especially of a ginger rhizome.
    • 2001, David Joachim, The Clever Cook's Kitchen Handbook
      Place whole, unpeeled knobs of ginger in a zipper-lock freezer bag for up to 3 months. Slice or break off what you need and return the rest to the freezer.


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.


knob (third-person singular simple present knobs, present participle knobbing, simple past and past participle knobbed)

  1. (Britain, slang, vulgar, of a man) To have sex with.




From Middle Low German knōp (knot). Compare Dutch knoop and Swedish knop.


  • IPA(key): /knoːb/, [kʰnoːˀb̥]


knob n, c

  1. knot (speed on water)
  2. knot (looping of a rope)

Usage notes[edit]

In the sense speed on water it is common gender; the plural indefinite form is knob; no definite forms. In the sense looping of a rope it is neuter gender.


Further reading[edit]