Need vs knead

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Need and knead are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and mean different things. Need and knead are homophones. We’ll look at the reason that some English words begin with the dipgraph kn, the difference between the words need and knead, and some examples of their use in sentences.

Need may be used as a verb to mean to lack something, to be in want of something, to require something. Need may be used as a noun to mean the state of feeling the lack of something, the state of requiring help, something that is lacked or something that is required. Related words are needs, needed, needing, needy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, need is one of the one thousand most frequently used words in the English language. The word need is derived from the Old English word neodian which means require, need.

Knead means to work dough, to pummel and press raw dough in order to facilitate the rising process, usually by hand. The word knead is also used to describe massaging and squeezing anything by hand. Knead is one of many English words that begin with the dipgraph kn, which is pronounced as n, leaving the k silent. However, up until the seventeenth century, the k in words such as knead and knight were pronounced. The word knead is derived from the Germanic word knedan, which spawned the Old English word cnedan, in which the hard k sound is pronounced as well as the n sound. About the time that printed books became more numerous, many English speakers dropped the initial k sound in pronouncing kn words, though publishers retained the spelling. Related words are kneads, kneaded, kneading, kneadable, kneader.


Motherless babies could be on the horizon after scientists discovered a method of creating offspring without the need for a female egg. (The Telegraph)

But while it’s easy to be lured by the size and scale of green bond issuances in China, analysts say some matters need to be addressed before they become a meaningful financing tool. (The South China Morning Post)

Knead in some of the flour from the work surface, adding a little more if the dough remains sticky. (The Swindon Advertiser)

“While suffering years of back pain I grew frustrated with the regular foam roller which couldn’t effectively target and knead out my upper & lower back muscles. (The Clare Herald)

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