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[nob] /nɒb/
a projecting part, usually rounded, forming the handle of a door, drawer, or the like.
a rounded lump or protuberance on the surface or at the end of something, as a knot on a tree trunk.
Architecture. an ornamental boss, as of carved work.
a rounded hill, mountain, or elevation on a ridge.
verb (used with object), knobbed, knobbing.
to produce a knob on.
to furnish with a knob.
(in stone cutting) to knock off (excess stone) preparatory to dressing; knobble; skiffle.
Origin of knob
1350-1400; Middle English knobbe < Middle Low German
Related forms
knoblike, adjective
Can be confused
knob, nob. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for knobbed
Historical Examples
  • He could see the salt-and-pepper rocks, shoaling away and knobbed with periwinkle shells.

    Captives of the Flame Samuel R. Delany
  • He shuffled on his hat and caught firm hold of his knobbed umbrella.

    The Return Walter de la Mare
  • I saw the movement and succeeded in striking the seal on the nose with my knobbed stick.

    The Pilots of Pomona Robert Leighton
  • He had a knobbed stick, capable of dealing a very damaging blow.

    King of the Air Herbert Strang
  • As I spoke a roughly clad man pushed in between me and Mount, swinging a knobbed stick; another man followed, 401 then another.

    Cardigan Robert W. Chambers
  • It is a knobbed, irregular root, and when cooked resembles the ginseng.

  • The animal within the cup may or may not be borne on a stalk, and this stalk may or may not be knobbed.

  • Indeed, throughout his face there was something of the knobbed and gnarled character of that monarch of our woods.

  • They were railed with white bars across the back and knobbed with gold; neither the railings nor the knobs invited to ease.

    Cranford Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • Then I saw him reaching with a knobbed claw for a slender silver tube slung to his harness.

British Dictionary definitions for knobbed


a rounded projection from a surface, such as a lump on a tree trunk
a handle of a door, drawer, etc, esp one that is rounded
a round hill or knoll or morainic ridge
(Brit, taboo) a slang word for penis
(Brit, informal) and the same to you with knobs on, and the same to you with brass knobs on, the same to you but even more so
verb knobs, knobbing, knobbed
(transitive) to supply or ornament with knobs
(intransitive) to form into a knob; bulge
(Brit, taboo) to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
Derived Forms
knobby, adjective
knoblike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German knobbe knot in wood; see knop
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 knobbed



late 14c., knobe, probably from a Scandinavian or German source (cf. Middle Low German knobbe "knob," Middle Dutch cnoppe, Dutch knop, Old Frisian knopp, knapp, Old High German knopf, German Knopf "button," Old Norse knyfill "short horn"). Meaning "knoll, isolated round hill" is first recorded 1640s, especially in U.S.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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knobbed in Science
A prominent, rounded hill or mountain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for knobbed



  1. The head: Can you get that through your ugly knob? (1725+)
  2. A despised person; dork, jerk, prick: Don't they know what a knob he is? (1990s+)

[knob, ''penis,'' was British use in the 1800s, according to Tony Thorne]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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