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knot +‎ hole.


knothole (plural knotholes)

  1. In a piece of lumber, a void left by a knot in the wood; such holes are often convenient for peering through when they occur in fences.
    • 1893, Ambrose Bierce, Can Such Things Be [1]
      Looking in the same direction, I saw that the knothole in the wall had indeed become a human eye -- a full, black eye, that glared into my own with an entire lack of expression more awful than the most devilish glitter.
    • 1915, Zane Grey, The Redheaded Outfield [2]
      Red Gilbat was nutty....When the gong rang at the ball grounds there were ten chances to one that Red would not be present. He had been discovered with small boys peeping through knotholes at the vacant left field he was supposed to inhabit during play.
  2. (Cincinnati, sports) Youth league baseball.
    • 1976, Pete Rose [3]
      But he was worried that a coach of a knothole team might not like the idea and not let me switch-hit. So, my dad went to the coach.
    • 1993, Rob Portman [4]
      I was a Cub Scout. I went to church with my family, and taught Sunday school when I was in my teens. I played knothole baseball and rooted for the Reds.
    • 1998, Lonnie Wheeler, Cincinnati Magazine [5]
      Poetically enough, the New Richmond knothole field is situated right next to the low, open land between the old and new highway.

Related terms[edit]