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[nok-er] /ˈnɒk ər/
a person or thing that knocks.
a hinged knob, bar, etc., on a door, for use in knocking.
Informal. a persistent and carping critic; faultfinder.
Slang: Vulgar. a female breast.
on the knocker, British Slang. canvassing or selling door-to-door.
Origin of knocker
1350-1400; Middle English; see knock, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for knocker
Historical Examples
  • It had never seen a knocker in its native home, and when grown up it was taken by its master to Paris.

    Animal Intelligence George J. Romanes
  • As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon, it was a knocker again.

    A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
  • The Patriarch rose from his chair, walked to the door, opened it, moved the knocker up and down—and pointed to the ceiling.

    The Miracle Man Frank L. Packard
  • As he stood there, waiting his arrival, the knocker caught his eye.

    A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
  • He had hardly finished one long resounding knock, when he turned to the knocker again and began another.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The house inhabited by the clerk had neither bell, knocker, nor porter.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • I lifted the knocker with a faint heart, and could scarce breathe when I had to knock three times or ever the door was opened.

  • It was the heart of Maria Remedios knocking at the door through the knocker.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • The clock on the Old Brick Meetinghouse was striking ten when he rattled the knocker.

  • I wanted a knocker for an oaken door; and I wanted it just so.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
British Dictionary definitions for knocker


an object, usually ornamental and made of metal, attached to a door by a hinge and used for knocking
(informal) a person who finds fault or disparages
(usually pl) (slang) a female breast
a person or thing that knocks
(Austral & NZ, informal) on the knocker, promptly; at once: you pay on the knocker here
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 knocker

late 14c., agent noun from knock. Sense of "door banger" is by 1590s. Knockers "a woman's breasts" is slang attested from 1941.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for knocker

knocker 1


A consistently negative critic; detractor: that pack of knockers that have been howling (1898+)

Related Terms


kit and caboodle

noun phrase

The totality; everything: the whole kit and caboodle, go hang/the whole kit and boodle of 'em

[1861+; fr 1700s British kit, ''outfit of equipment,'' plus early 1800s boodle, ''lot, collection,'' perhaps fr Dutch boedel, ''property, effects'']

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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