(in imperial Russia) a whip used to inflict punishment, often causing death.‘Hugo Haase told the French socialists that ‘what the Prussian boot means to you, the Russian knout means to us’.’
whip, horsewhip, bullwhip, switch, scourge, flagellum, cat-o'-nine-tails, cat, thong, flail, strap, birch, cane
- ‘The men hold heavy, thick-ended knouts of ash; most of their sons carry whippy stems of hazel.’
- ‘‘Sergei - Kap - please don't -’ I begged, but the sting of the knout against the skin of my back made me cry out in mid-plea.’
transitive verb[with object]
Flog (someone) with a knout.
Mid 17th century via French from Russian knut, from Old Norse knútr; related to knot.
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