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[nok-doun] /ˈnɒkˌdaʊn/
capable of knocking something down; overwhelming; irresistible:
a knockdown blow.
constructed in separate parts that can readily be taken apart for easy storage, shipping, etc.:
a knockdown toolshed.
offered or acquired for less than the prevailing rate:
first-rate goods at knockdown prices.
a knockdown object.
an act or instance of knocking down, especially by a blow.
something that fells or overwhelms.
reduction or lowering, as in price or number:
The store offered a knockdown of 15 percent to its own employees.
Slang. an introduction, especially to a person:
He gave me a real knockdown to the company.
Nautical. the capsizing of a small boat as a result of a strong gust of wind.
Origin of knockdown
1680-90; adj., noun use of verb phrase knock down


or knock-down, drag-out; knock-down-and-drag-out

[nok-doun-drag-out] /ˈnɒkˌdaʊnˈdrægˌaʊt/
marked by unrelenting violence:
a knock-down-drag-out fight.
1820-30; adj. use of verb phrases knock down and drag out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for knockdown
Historical Examples
  • I'll go straight up and give you a knockdown--I want to, anyway.

    The Power and the Glory Grace MacGowan Cooke
  • Souls have in them a wonderful capacity for recovering after knockdown blows.

    The Girl Wanted Nixon Waterman
  • Toppy shook his head, like a pugilist clearing his wits after a knockdown.

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
  • This Harvey thought would be a knockdown blow, and it was—indirectly.

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • I bought a number of knockdown chairs in Chicago all made by hand for $125 and sold them for much more.

  • He comes up again after every knockdown, as fresh as a daisy.

    Fast Nine Alan Douglas
  • Not that Nick meant to give up the fight; but if she went to Shasta it would be a knockdown blow.

    The Port of Adventure Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
  • A shout of rage from the piper, and a knockdown blow that levelled the offender, replied to the insult.

  • But ever since this malady left me a lonely dominie for life, diphtheria has been a knockdown word for me.

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
  • In the best of circumstances it is only rarely that having identified his big bull, the hunter can deliver a knockdown blow.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
Slang definitions & phrases for knockdown



Designed to be sold unassembled and to be easy to assemble and disassemble: a knockdown kitchen set (1795+)


  1. An introduction: You want a knockdown to something (1865+)
  2. An invitation (1940s+)
  3. Money stolen from one's employer: considered the ''knock-down'' a perfectly legitimate source of profit (1860s+)


adjective phrase

Very violent; unrestrained; all-out: They were having a knock-downdrag-out argument when I got there


: Seems the neighbors were having a knockdown-drag-out (1827+)

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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