knee: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (nē), [key]
— n., v., kneed, knee•ing.
  1. the joint of the leg that allows for movement between the femur and tibia and is protected by the patella; the central area of the leg between the thigh and the lower leg. See diag. under
  2. the corresponding joint or region in the hind leg of a quadruped; stifle.
  3. a joint or region likened to this but not anatomically homologous with it, as the tarsal joint of a bird, the carpal joint in the forelimb of the horse or cow, etc.
  4. the part of a garment covering the knee.
  5. something resembling a bent knee, esp. a rigid or braced angle between two framing members.
  6. Also calledthe inward curve toward the top of a cabriole leg.
    1. the junction of the top and either of the uprights of a bent.
    2. a curved member for reinforcing the junction of two pieces meeting at an angle.
  7. a stone cut to follow a sharp return angle.
  8. to force someone into submission or compliance.
  9. to squelch or humiliate (a person) suddenly and thoroughly: The speaker cut the heckler off at the knees.
  10. I came to him on my knees for the money.
    1. in a supplicatory position or manner:I came to him on my knees for the money.
    2. in a desperate or declining condition:The country's economy is on its knees.
  1. to strike or touch with the knee.
  2. to secure (a structure, as a bent) with a knee.
  1. to go down on the knees; kneel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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