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A noose knot tied in kernmantle rope
NamesNoose, Running knot
Relatedslip knot, hangman's knot, Running bowline, arbor knot
Typical useanimal snares, knitting, self tightening end loop

A noose is a loop at the end of a rope in which the knot tightens under load and can be loosened without. The knot can be used to secure a rope to a post or pole, but only where the end is in a position that the loop can be passed over.


The knot is tied by forming a loop in the end of a rope, and then passing a bight of the standing end through the loop. The noose knot is a slipped version of the overhand knot.

Use in hanging[edit]

The knot most closely associated with execution is the hangman's knot, which is also known as the "hangman's noose." Tying is similar to the original noose, but several turns are wrapped around the loop. The reason for this was to make the hanging more humane, as it would break the person's neck, killing them instantly, rather than strangling them to death.

Use in intimidation[edit]

In the United States, a noose is sometimes left as a message in order to intimidate people. Its meaning is derived from its use in segregation era lynchings.[2][3] It is illegal to display a noose in a threatening manner in Virginia[4], New York and Connecticut.[5]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jack Shuler, The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose, Public Affairs, 2014, ISBN 9781610391368


  1. ^ Ashley, Clifford W. (1993) [1944], The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, p. 204, ISBN 0-385-04025-3
  2. ^ Noose incidents evoke segregation-era fears, MSNBC. October 10, 2007.
  3. ^ Coast Guard tries to deal with noose incidents, CNN. October 4, 2007.
  4. ^ Displaying noose on property of another or a highway or other public place with intent to intimidate; penalty, Code of Virginia. October 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Noose displays provoke new state penalties, June 6, 2008.