intransitive verbknapped, knap′ping
- to knock, rap, or snap
- to break or shape (stones or flints) by a quick, hard blow
- to bite sharply; snap
Origin of knapLate Middle English knappen, akin to Du, to snap, eat from Indo-European an unverified form gnebh-: for base see knead
- the top of a hill; summit
- a hillock
Origin of knapMiddle English from Old English cnæp, top, knob, button, akin to Old Norse knappr from Indo-European an unverified form gnebh-: see knap
transitive verbknapped, knap·ping, knaps
- To break or chip (stone) with sharp blows, as in shaping flint or obsidian into tools.
- Chiefly British a. To strike sharply; rap.b. To snap at or bite.
Origin of knapMiddle English knappen probably of imitative origin
(third-person singular simple present knaps, present participle knapping, simple past and past participle knapped)
(to shape a vitreous mineral) In modern usage knap is restricted to the specific technique of percussion flaking whereby flakes are removed across an entire face or facet leaving a conchoidal fracture. It is distinguished from the more general verb chip and is different from "carve" (removing only part of a face), and "cleave" (breaking along a natural plane). The term is used in archaeology for the production of flaked stone tools and in gunsmithing for the production of gunflints. Knap is rarely used in stonemasonry except to denote fine chipping done with smaller hammers but without the chisel.
From Middle English knappen, an onomatopeia
(plural knaps) (chiefly dialect)
Middle English, from Old English cnæp, akin to cnotta 'knot'