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[nelt] /nɛlt/
a simple past tense and past participle of kneel.


[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 knelt
  • He knelt before the block and clasped it in both hands.
  • He straightened her fragile limbs and knelt and kissed her mouth.
  • In that nave and in the adjoining aisles knelt or stood the rapt throng of worshipers.
  • Before the offensive began, they knelt with their helmets off and prayed.
  • He knelt down and shot one expertly, knocking another into a puddle.
  • They knelt to take off his ear tag and collar, then pushed his body over a steep embankment.
  • Once you stood watch in lands far away, while families back home knelt in prayerful vigil.
  • He reportedly knelt down between them to chat and had his arms around their sides while he was talking.
  • If you request that the bus be knelt or the ramp be deployed, the driver will do so.
  • As he knelt down and placed his hands on the fallen tree he chanted.
British Dictionary definitions for knelt


a past tense and past participle of 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
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Word Origin and History for knelt



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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