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Via French, from Russian кнут (knut),from Old East Slavic кнутъ (knutŭ), from Old Norse knútr (knot in a cord).



knout (plural knouts)

  1. A leather scourge (multi-tail whip), in the severe version known as 'great knout' with metal weights on each tongue, notoriously used in imperial Russia.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 5:
      Torture in a public school is as much licensed as the knout in Russia.
    • 1980: Spray and then slogging knouts of water hit the windows or lights like snarling disaffected at a mansion of the rich and frivolous. — Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers
    • 2005: The lieutenant gave him twenty strokes of the knout and stuck him in a cage for a few days till the snow was ankle deep. — James Meek, The People's Act of Love (Canongate 2006, p. 193)



knout (third-person singular simple present knouts, present participle knouting, simple past and past participle knouted)

  1. To flog or beat with a knout.
    • 1992, Will Self, Cock and Bull:
      Different, isn’t it? It’s called kava, by the way. The Fijians make it by knouting some root or other.



From Russian кнут (knut), from Old East Slavic кнутъ (knutŭ), from Old Norse knútr (knot)



knout m (plural knouts)

  1. knout, scourge
  2. a flogging administered with such a multiple whip; a condemnation to suffer it

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