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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Knout \Knout\ (nout or n[=oo]t), n. [Russ. knut'; prob. of Scand. origin; cf. Sw. knut knot, knout, Icel. kn[=u]tr knot: cf. F. knout. See Knot.] A kind of whip for flogging criminals, formerly much used in Russi

  1. The lash is a tapering bundle of leather thongs twisted with wire and hardened, so that it mangles the flesh.


Knout \Knout\, v. t. To punish with the knout.


n. A leather scourge (multi-tail whip), in the severe version known as 'great knout' with metal weights on each tongue, notoriously used in imperial Russi

  1. v

  2. To flog or beat with a knout.


n. a whip with a lash of leather thongs twisted with wire; used for flogging prisoners


A knout is a heavy scourge-like multiple whip, usually made of a bunch of rawhide thongs attached to a long handle, sometimes with metal wire or hooks incorporated. The English word stems from a spelling-pronunciation of a French transliteration of the Russian word кнут (knut), which simply means "whip".

Usage examples of "knout".

When they built a fort of their own outside, he set himself to tantalize the two Danes, Bering and Spanberg, knouting their men, sending coureurs with false accusations against Bering to St.

Honour stands for nothing, but with the knout and brandy one can get anything from them except heroical enthusiasm.

They must be guided to that decision, to that cause, not with fists and knouts, but with words.

It is true that the first hour after the punishment was generally so full of suffering that the knouted was sometimes unjust to the knouter, but this feeling seldom out-lasted the evening, and it was rare when it held out after the first glass of spirits that the operator drank to the health of his patient.

It was some days after this nocturnal decision that the knouting had taken place at which our readers have assisted.

Lying there among the knouts and nooses of cheap sheets and damp blankets, in his pink-tinged Yfronts, with the beercan on his gut and the fizzing snout in his fingers, Keith had a fairly accurate idea of who and what he was.

When I write my introduction to his Collected Works I shall embellish that statement by pointing out that the shadow of the Corsican Ogre had but lately faded from the chancelleries of Europe, that the Industrial Revolution was in full flower in England, that Byron had been accused of incest by his wife, that Russia's millions still groaned under the knout, and that in Portland, Maine, the nine-year-old Longfellow had not, so far, written a line.

And from this back uprose and fell immense spiked and fan-shaped ruffs, thickets of spikes, whipping knouts of bristling tentacles, fanged crests.

There have been Cossacks in every age and we are not the only ones who have felt their knouts and swords as they rode into the village with murder in their hearts.

The peasant drivers, shouting at their horses and lashing them with their knouts, ran from one side to the other.

With ropes of fire they knouted the Things the sledges struck, the sullen crimson levins blasted.

We can borrow a word from another modern language, either in something like its original form, as with knout (Russian), khaki (Hindustani), or corrupted, as with crawfish (Old French crevice), dunk (German tunken).