—n. 1. Anat.the joint of the leg that allows for movement between the femur and tibia and is protected by the patella; the central area of the leg between the thigh and the lower leg. See diag. under skeleton. 2. Zool.the corresponding joint or region in the hind leg of a quadruped; stifle.
3. a joint or region likened to this but not anatomically homologous with it, as the tarsal joint of a bird, the carpal joint in the forelimb of the horse or cow, etc.
4. the part of a garment covering the knee.
5. something resembling a bent knee, esp. a rigid or braced angle between two framing members.
6. Also called hip, shoulder.Furniture.the inward curve toward the top of a cabriole leg.
7. Building Trades. a. the junction of the top and either of the uprights of a bent.
b. a curved member for reinforcing the junction of two pieces meeting at an angle.
8. Also calledkneeler. a stone cut to follow a sharp return angle.
9. bring someone to his or her knees, to force someone into submission or compliance.
10. cut (someone) off at the knees, to squelch or humiliate (a person) suddenly and thoroughly: The speaker cut the heckler off at the knees. 11. on one's or its knees, a. in a supplicatory position or manner: I came to him on my knees for the money. b. in a desperate or declining condition: The country's economy is on its knees.
—v.t. 1. to strike or touch with the knee.
2. to secure (a structure, as a bent) with a knee.