noun British.

  1. a person who buys animal carcasses or slaughters useless livestock for a knackery or rendering works.
  2. a person who buys and dismembers old houses, ships, etc., to salvage usable parts, selling the rest as scrap.
  3. Dialect. an old, sick, or useless farm animal, especially a horse.
  4. Obsolete. a harness maker; a saddler.


  1. a person who buys up old horses for slaughter
  2. a person who buys up old buildings and breaks them up for scrap
  3. (usually plural) slang another word for testicle
  4. Irish slang a despicable person


  1. (tr; usually passive) slang to exhaust; tire

usually in past tense, knackered, “to kill, castrate” (1855), but most often used in weakened sense of “to tire out” (1883); apparently from knacker (n.) “worn-out or useless horse,” 1812, of unknown origin; possibly from a dialectal survival of a Scandinavian word represented by Old Norse hnakkur “saddle,” hnakki “back of the neck,” and thus possibly related to neck (n.).

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