knead

To knead is to massage, as you might knead a sore muscle to relieve the pain or knead bread dough before baking it.

Knead, pronounced “need,” comes from Old English, and its meaning has changed little over time. Knead is sometimes used to describe a cat’s behavior of repeatedly pushing its paws (and claws) into soft surfaces — almost like it’s kneading dough. We’re pretty sure cats did the same thing long ago when folks spoke Old English, but there’s no word on whether knead was used to describe this behavior back then.

Definitions of knead
1

v make uniform

knead dough”
Synonyms:
work
crop, cultivate, work
prepare for crops
work
behave in a certain way when handled
Types:
proof
knead to reach proper lightness
masticate
grind and knead
Type of:
manipulate
hold something in one's hands and move it

v manually manipulate (someone's body), usually for medicinal or relaxation purposes

Synonyms:
massage, rub down
Type of:
manipulate
hold something in one's hands and move it

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.