Nock vs. Knock

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Nock and knock are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of nock and knock, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A nock is a notch at the end of the arrow which is used for fitting the arrow into the bowstring. Nock may also mean a notch made at either end of an archery bow for holding the bowstring in place. Nock is used as a noun or as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, to mean to place an arrow onto a bowstring in preparation for shooting. Related words are nocks, nocked, nocking. The word nock is derived from either the Swedish word nock or the German nokk or Dutch nok.

To knock means to rap on a surface such as a door with force in order to make enough noise to attract attention. Knock may also mean to thump on something, to accidentally collide with something especially if that thing falls over, to demolish something or injure something. The word knock may be used as a noun to mean a rap on a surface or a collision. It is also used figuratively to mean a critical comment or a severe setback. Related words are knocks, knocked, knocking, knocker. The word knock is derived from the Old English word cnocian which means to pound or knock on a door.


If you do encounter an aggressive animal or criminal, chances aren’t good that you’ll be able to nock an arrow in time — or connect with your moving target. (Bowhunting Magazine)

After a simple knock on the front door, there was a shriek of excitement and a joyful pitter patter of footsteps from inside the home. (The Cottage Grove Sentinel)

The Cleveland Indians won their 21st straight game Wednesday to set the American League record for consecutive wins, knocking the 2002 Oakland A’s out of the record book. (The Mercury News)

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