knock out

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

  1. (transitive) To strike or bump (someone or something) out.
    I accidentally knocked out the glass in my picture frame.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To render unconscious, as by a blow to the head.
    The boxer knocked out his opponent in the third round.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XXII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      In the autumn there was a row at some cement works about the unskilled labour men. A union had just been started for them and all but a few joined. One of these blacklegs was laid for by a picket and knocked out of time.
  3. (transitive, informal, idiomatic) To put to sleep.
    The allergy pill knocked him out for a good three hours.
  4. (intransitive, informal, idiomatic) To fall asleep, especially suddenly.
    • 2014, D. G. Driver, Cry of the Sea, page 61:
      That's a put-you-straight-to-sleep book if there ever was one, and I knocked right out after two paragraphs.
  5. (transitive, informal, idiomatic) To exhaust.
    Running errands all day really knocked him out.
  6. (transitive, informal) To complete, especially in haste; knock off.
    They knocked out the entire project in one night.
  7. (transitive, idiomatic) To cause a mechanism to become non-functional by damaging or destroying it.
    The antitank gun knocked out the enemy tank.
  8. (transitive) To eliminate from a contest or similar.
    • 1980, InfoWorld, volume 2, number 20:
      As they were approaching bankruptcy from being knocked out of the calculator market, they began development on the first commercially available microcomputer, the Altair.
    • 2011 December 15, Marc Higginson, “Shamrock Rovers 0-4 Tottenham”, in BBC Sport:
      Tottenham were knocked out of the Europa League, despite a comfortable victory over Shamrock Rovers in Dublin.
  9. (transitive) To communicate (a message) by knocking.
    The prisoner knocked out a message on the wall for the prisoner in the adjoining cell.
  10. To lose the scent of hounds in fox-hunting.
  11. (obsolete, Oxford University slang) To leave college after hours—after half-past ten at night when the doors have been locked.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Macedonian: нокаут (nokaut)
  • Portuguese: nocaute
  • Russian: нокаут (nokaut)
  • Serbo-Croatian: нокаут
  • Spanish: nocaut
  • Turkish: nakavt


See also[edit]