from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To perceive directly; grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty.
  • intransitive verb To regard as true beyond doubt.
  • intransitive verb To have a practical understanding of, as through experience; be skilled in.
  • intransitive verb To have fixed in the mind.
  • intransitive verb To have experience of.
  • intransitive verb To perceive as familiar; recognize.
  • intransitive verb To be acquainted with.
  • intransitive verb To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct.
  • intransitive verb To discern the character or nature of.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To have sexual intercourse with.
  • intransitive verb To possess knowledge, understanding, or information.
  • intransitive verb To be cognizant or aware.
  • idiom (know (someone) in the biblical sense) To have sexual relations with (someone).
  • idiom (in the know) Possessing special or secret information.
  • idiom (you know) Used parenthetically in conversation, as to fill pauses or educe the listener's agreement or sympathy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dialectal (Scotch) form of knoll
  • noun Middle English forms of knee.
  • To Perceive or understand as being fact or truth; have a clear or distinct perception or apprehension of; understand or comprehend clearly and fully; be conscious of perceiving truly.
  • In a general sense, to have definite information or intelligence about; be acquainted with, either through the report of others or through personal ascertainment, observation, experience, or intercourse: as, to know American history; he knows the city thoroughly.
  • To recognize after some absence or change; recall to the mind or perception; revive prior knowledge of: as, he was so changed that you would hardly know him.
  • To recognize in contrast or comparison; distinguish by means of previous acquaintance or information: as, to know one man from another; we know a fixed star from a planet by its twinkling; to know the right way.
  • To understand from experience or attainment; comprehend as to manner or method: with how before an infinitive: as, to know how to make something.
  • To have sexual commerce with. Gen. iv. 1. [A euphemism.]
  • To possess knowledge; be informed; have intelligence.
  • To take cognizance; acquire knowledge; get intelligence.
  • To be acquainted with each other. You and I have known, sir.
  • noun Knowledge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Knee.
  • intransitive verb To have knowledge; to have a clear and certain perception; to possess wisdom, instruction, or information; -- often with of.
  • intransitive verb To be assured; to feel confident.
  • intransitive verb [Obs.] to ask, to inquire.
  • transitive verb To perceive or apprehend clearly and certainly; to understand; to have full information of.
  • transitive verb To be convinced of the truth of; to be fully assured of.
  • transitive verb To be acquainted with; to be no stranger to; to be more or less familiar with the person, character, etc., of; to possess experience of
  • transitive verb To recognize; to distinguish; to discern the character of.
  • transitive verb To have sexual intercourse with.
  • transitive verb to understand the manner, way, or means; to have requisite information, intelligence, or sagacity. How is sometimes omitted.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To be certain or sure about.
  • verb transitive To be acquainted or familiar with; to have encountered.
  • verb transitive, from To have knowledge of; to have memorised information, data, or facts about.
  • verb transitive To understand (a subject).
  • verb transitive To be informed about.
  • verb transitive To experience.
  • verb transitive, archaic, biblical To have sexual relations with.
  • noun Knowledge.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations
  • verb accept (someone) to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority
  • verb be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about
  • verb be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English knouen, from Old English cnāwan; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English knowen, from Old English cnāwan ("to know, perceive, recognise"), from Proto-Germanic *knēanan (“to know”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃- (“to know”). Cognate with Scots knaw ("to know, recognise"), Icelandic kná ("to know, know how to, be able").


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  • "wonk" in reverse

    December 27, 2006

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    July 23, 2009