knock down

Idioms & Phrases

knock down

  1. Take apart for storage or shipping, as in We need to knock down this chest to ship it safely overseas. [Mid-1900s]

  2. Declare sold at an auction, as by striking a blow with a gavel. For example, That was the last bid, and the first edition was knocked down for only three hundred. [Mid-1700s]

  3. Reduce the price of, as in They knocked it down by another hundred dollars, or An overabundant harvest will knock down corn prices. [Colloquial; mid-1800].

  4. Earn as wages, as in She knocks down a hundred grand a year. [Slang; 1920s]

  5. Steal, embezzle, as in He was caught knocking down the box-office receipts. This usage may be obsolescent. [Slang; mid-1800s] Also see knock over, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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