A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Knock (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1155, 1156

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1155, 1156

To Knock . v.a.

  1. To affect or change in any respect by blows.

    How do you mean removing him?
    — — Why, by making him incapable of Othello's place;
    knocking out his brains.
    Shakespeare's Othello.

    He that has his chains knocked off, and the prison doors set open to him, is perfectly at liberty. Locke

    Time was, a sober Englishman would knock
    His servants up, and rise by five o'clock;
    Instruct his family in ev'ry rule
    And send his wife to church, his son to school.
    Dryden.

  2. To dash together; to strike; to collide with a sharp noise.

    So when the cook saw my jaws thus knock it,
    She would have made a pancake of my pocket.
    Cleaveland.

    At him he lanch'd his spear, and pierc'd his breast;
    On the hard earth the Lycian knock'd his head,
    And lay supine; and forth the spirit fled.
    Dryden

                    'Tis the sport of statesmen,
    When heroes knock their knotty heads together,
    And fall by one another.
    Rowe

  3. To Knock down. To fell by a blow.

    He began to knock down his fellow citizens with a great deal of zeal, and to fill all Arabia with an unnatural medley of religion and bloodshed. Addison's Freeholder, №. 50.

    A man who is gross in a woman's company, ought to be knocked down with a club. Clarissa

  4. To Knock on the head. To kill by a blow; to destroy.

    He betook himself to his orchard, and walking there was knocked on the head by a tree. South's Sermons

    Excess, either with an apoplexy, knocks a man on the head; or with a fever, like fire in a strong-water-shop, burns him down to the ground. Grew's Cosmol.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (406) · Cleveland, John (10) · Dryden, John (780) · Grew, Nehemiah (34) · Locke, John (264) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Richardson, Samuel (11) · Rowe, Nicholas (21) · South, Robert (156)

Attributes: Verb Active (275)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Knock (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 27, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=13580.


  1. “Time was, a sober Englishman would knock…” comes from Pope’s Imitations of Horace and not from Dryden.

  2. Brandi on April 24th, 2013 at 11:45 am

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