knock down

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See also: knockdown







knock down (third-person singular simple present knocks down, present participle knocking down, simple past and past participle knocked down)

  1. (transitive) To hit or knock (something or someone), intentionally or accidentally, so that it falls.
    As I took the can off the shelf, I knocked down the one beside it.
    • 1977, Sonny James (lyrics and music), “In the Jailhouse Now”, in Sonny James In Prison, In Person[1]:
      He was out tomcatting one night / When he started a big fight / And a big policeman came and knocked him down.
    • 2012, Ingrid Michaelson (lyrics and music), “This Is War”, in Human Again[2]:
      I won't surrender / I will fight better / You lock me out, you knock me down / But I will find my way around
  2. (transitive) To demolish.
    We knocked down the garden shed when we moved.
  3. (transitive) At an auction, to declare (something) sold with a blow from the gavel.
    The picture was knocked down for £50.
  4. (transitive, informal) To reduce the price of.
    They knocked it down by another £5, so we bought it.
  5. (transitive, informal) To drink fast.
    I love to go down the pub and knock down pints of lager.
  6. (transitive, usually passive voice) To disassemble for shipment.
    The furniture is shipped knocked down, so assembly is required.
  7. (transitive) To approve a drinking toast by banging glasses on the table.
    • 1954, H. C. N. de Lanerolle, "Well, Mudaliyar!" and Other Plays (page 179)
      They click their glasses and knock down the toast.
  8. (dated, trains) To send a stop signal to ensure a train is signalled to stop at the correct point.


  • (hit or knock (something) so that it falls): knock over
  • (demolish): demolish, destroy
  • (declare something sold at an auction with a blow from the gavel): sell
  • (reduce the price of): reduce




  • (approve a toast by banging glasses on the table): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary