The Definition of KNOCK-ON EFFECT + In a Sentence

The Definition of KNOCK-ON EFFECT + In a Sentence

The phrase “knock-on effect” appeared in English during the 1970s, although it had been used by the scientific community before that. This video explains the background and origin of the phrase KNOCK-ON EFFECT.

It also gives a clear explanation of the definition and meaning of KNOCK-ON EFFECT and its relation to a similar phrase, DOMINO EFFECT.

These illustrated sentence examples regarding the meaning of KNOCK-ON EFFECT provide an effective teaching and memory aid. By spending one or two seconds looking at the picture, then hearing the sentence example ready, a deep impression is made in the brain and in the memory.

After this video you will be able to use the phrase KNOCK-ON EFFECT and DOMINO EFFECT confidently when you see an appropriate opportunity.

Here is a transcript of the video: “The Definition of KNOCK-ON EFFECT + KNOCK-ON EFFECT in a Sentence”

Slide 1:  The Meaning of KNOCK-ON EFFECT

Slide 2:
Before looking at the origin and meaning along with 4 examples of KNOCK-ON EFFECT in a sentence, here is a quick reminder:

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Slide 3:
A KNOCK-ON EFFECT is an indirect or secondary result of an action.

It could also be cumulative, meaning one event may trigger a series of events that increase in number or intensity.

The term KNOCK-ON EFFECT came into common usage in English in the 1970s.

Earlier, it had been used in the scientific community to describe the results of atoms and particles knocking on each other in collision.

Slide 4:

According to common usage, they are almost the same.

Although they are used interchangeably, some use KNOCK-ON EFFECT to describe one or two consequences or results from an action


DOMINO EFFECT to describe a longer series of consequences and actions, a chain of events.

Slide 5:
In the picture we see a car showroom selling new cars, and below it, a picture of a used car sales business.

Sentence example: A cut in the price of new cars had a knock-on effect in the used car market.

Slide 6:
The picture shows a doctor treating a patient.

Sentence example: When her first patient took much longer than expected, it had a knock-on effect on her appointments for the rest of the morning.

Slide 7:
In the picture we see a map of Vietnam and other countries in south-east Asia.

Sentence example: The domino theory proposed that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect.

Note: This was one of the factors which led the United States into military action in Vietnam during the 1960s.

Slide 8:
In the picture we see a major pileup in the Tour de France cycle race.

Sentence example: During the Tour de France, June, 2021, a spectator held up a cardboard sign, causing a cyclist to fall, which started a domino effect resulting in a massive crash which injured 21 riders.

Slide 9:
So remember, if you want to describe an indirect, secondary, or cumulative result of an action, use the phrase KNOCK-ON EFFECT.

If you are describing a long chain of events resulting from an action, you may wish to use the phrase DOMINO EFFECT.

Slide 10:
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As you were interested in the meaning of KNOCK-ON EFFECT, and seeing KNOCK-ON EFFECT in a sentence, be sure to check this page about another word which has entered the English language in recent decades:
The Meaning of LAID BACK + In a Sentence

Image Credits

Slide 3 – atoms colliding
Royalty Free
Colliding Atoms – Atoms Colliding Png

Slide 4 – domino effect
Fair Use

Slide 5 – Mercedes-Benz showroom
Public Domain
Mercedes-Benz Showroom
Creative Commons

Slide 7 – Vietnam
Creative Commons
Domino Theory
Creative Commons

Slide 8 – cycle crash
Fair Use

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Fair Use
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