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 Knowledge.
  • 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 A dialectal (Scotch) form of knoll

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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").



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "wonk" in reverse

    December 27, 2006

  • see

    July 23, 2009