• WordNet 3.6
    • n knacker someone who buys up old horses for slaughter
    • n knacker someone who buys old buildings or ships and breaks them up to recover the materials in them
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Knacker a harness maker.
    • Knacker One of two or more pieces of bone or wood held loosely between the fingers, and struck together by moving the hand; -- called also clapper.
    • Knacker One who makes knickknacks, toys, etc.
    • Knacker One who slaughters worn-out horses and sells their flesh for dog's meat.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n knacker That which knacks or knocks; in the plural, two pieces of wood or bone used as a plaything by boys, who strike them together by moving the hand; castanets; bones.
    • n knacker A maker of knacks, toys, or small work.
    • n knacker A collar- and harness-maker, employed chiefly by farmers.
    • n knacker Acolliers' horse.
    • n knacker One whose occupation is the slaughtering of diseased or useless horses; also, one who deals in such horses, whether for use or slaughter.
    • n knacker A man who dismantles and sells the materials of old houses, ships, etc.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Knacker nak′ėr anything that knocks:
    • n Knacker nak′ėr a dealer in old horses and dog's-meat:
    • n Knacker nak′ėr (pl.) castanets or clappers, bones.
    • n Knacker nak′ėr (prov.) a collier's horse.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Icel. hnakkr, a saddle
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From Ice. knakkr, a saddle.


In literature:

You're only fit for the knacker's yard.
"At the Back of the North Wind" by George MacDonald
First of all he went to the knacker, Sanin, who lived in a village near.
"The Forged Coupon and Other Stories" by Leo Tolstoy
I am told that Albemarle did me the honour to stable his knackers in my hall at Zoyland.
"Mistress Wilding" by Rafael Sabatini
It's worse than Montfaucon knacker-yards!
"The Wandering Jew, Complete" by Eugene Sue
The others, the real knackers, wait for the meat to go bad; they are informed by the strength of the effluvia.
"The Life of the Fly" by J. Henri Fabre
Because he was up one time in a knacker's yard.
"Ulysses" by James Joyce
The colt that seems to break its heart at the cut of a whip, will hobble at last to the knacker unmoved by a shower of blows.
"Pearl-Maiden" by H. Rider Haggard
First try noble animals, then visit the market and shambles, and see how the knackers look.
"A Word Only A Word, Complete" by Georg Ebers
It's well for I as I be able to work a bit yet, else I suppose ye'd be sendin' me to the knackers.
"North, South and Over the Sea" by M.E. Francis (Mrs. Francis Blundell)
Better die now, while I am with thee, than fall into the knacker's hands.
"Rookwood" by William Harrison Ainsworth
It's only fit for the knacker.
"Moor Fires" by E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
A highly respected man among his fellow-citizens was Kurt, the Knacker.
"The Doomsman" by Van Tassel Sutphen
She reaches the knacker's cellar, at the end of the corridor.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre
They knew this mare; they knew that she was a hopeless outlaw and fit only for the knacker's yard.
"The Night Riders" by Ridgwell Cullum
They were spent with age and starvation, and were only fit for the knacker's yard.
"Black Diamonds" by Mór Jókai
None o' your poor, broken-kneed knackers for me.
"Original Penny Readings" by George Manville Fenn
The bell on the neck of the knacker's old steed tolls him to the grave.
"Told by the Death's Head" by Mór Jókai
The Knockers or Knackers are mine-spirits, quite unconnected with Bucca or bogles.
"The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries" by W. Y. Evans Wentz
When this came to the ear of the real Princess, she promised the knacker a piece of gold if he would do her a slight service.
"Snowdrop and Other Tales" by Jacob Grimm
Parent Duchatelet collected several particulars of the rats which in his day frequented the knackers' yards at Montfaucon.
"Curiosities of Civilization" by Andrew Wynter

In poetry:

They lead an old horse to the knacker's yard.
His wistful, short-breathing nostrils
Are listening: wet camomile and moss,
Or maybe a whiff of horsemeat.
"The spring-it had simply been you" by Boris Pasternak
Too good for the knacker, too poor for the lurry!
Let him go to the army that buys in a hurry!
Too good for the kennels, too poor for another,
Let him carry thy destiny, England my mother!
"The Quest (Horses For The Army)" by Cicely Fox Smith
Too good for the knacker, too poor for the lurry,
Let him go to the army that buys in a hurry!
Too good for the kennels, too poor for another,
Let him carry thy destiny, England my mother!
"The Quest (Horses For The Army)" by Cicely Fox Smith
Few blows I get, some hay, and of water many a draught:
I tell you he's no coster that sits upon my shaft!
And for the knacker's yard—that's not my destined bed:
No donkey ever yet saw himself there lying dead.
"The Donkey In The Cart To The Horse In The Carriage" by George MacDonald
And he turned aside to a low-bred mare
That was foaled on some cockie's farm,
And he drove away. What do I care?
I can come to no more harm.
In a knacker's yard I am worth at least
Some pence for a hungry lion's feast.
"The Cab Horses' Story" by C J Dennis
"All very fine," he said, "to wag your ears and parley,
And pretend you quite despise my bellyfuls of barley!
But with blows and with starving, and with labour over-hard,
By spurs! a week will see you in the knacker's yard."
"The Donkey In The Cart To The Horse In The Carriage" by George MacDonald

In news:

"I was groped on the knackers " lamented a third.
Anna Wintour is Knackered .
I am about to upgrade my Camcorder as my current one got a bit of water damage to it and well to put a long story short is knackered.