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. verb
    make uniform
    knead dough”
    synonyms: work
    crop, cultivate, work
    prepare for crops
    work
    behave in a certain way when handled
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    types:
    proof
    knead to reach proper lightness
    masticate
    grind and knead
    type of:
    manipulate
    hold something in one's hands and move it
  2. verb
    manually manipulate (someone's body), usually for medicinal or relaxation purposes
    synonyms: massage, rub down
    see moresee less
    type of:
    manipulate
    hold something in one's hands and move it
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