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[neel] /nil/
verb (used without object), knelt or kneeled, kneeling.
to go down or rest on the knees or a knee.
the action or position of kneeling.
Origin of kneel
before 1000; Middle English knelen, Old English cnēowlian (cognate with Low German knelen, Dutch knielen). See knee, -le
Related forms
kneelingly, adverb
unkneeling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for kneel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The outer door was closed then, and Miller was told to kneel.

  • Peter, I'll just kneel and kiss your hands if you can fix this for me.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • He could not endure the tones of cathedral music; but he had at times to kneel and listen to it, and be overcome.

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
  • "Then kneel on the ground and pull them up with your hands," said the farmer.

  • kneel down beside me, just a minute, boy, and then Ill go to sleep again.

    Cursed George Allan England
British Dictionary definitions for kneel


verb kneels, kneeling, knelt, kneeled
(intransitive) to rest, fall, or support oneself on one's knees
the act or position of kneeling
Derived Forms
kneeler, noun
Word Origin
Old English cnēowlian; see knee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for kneel

Old English cneowlian, from cneow (see knee (n.)); cf. Middle Low German knelen, Middle Dutch cnielen, Dutch knielen Gothic knussjan. Past tense knelt is a modern formation (19c.) on analogy of feel/felt, etc. Related: Kneeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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