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

  • transitive v. To perceive directly; grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty.
  • transitive v. To regard as true beyond doubt: I know she won't fail.
  • transitive v. To have a practical understanding of, as through experience; be skilled in: knows how to cook.
  • transitive v. To have fixed in the mind: knows her Latin verbs.
  • transitive v. To have experience of: "a black stubble that had known no razor” ( William Faulkner).
  • transitive v. To perceive as familiar; recognize: I know that face.
  • transitive v. To be acquainted with: He doesn't know his neighbors.
  • transitive v. To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct: knows right from wrong.
  • transitive v. To discern the character or nature of: knew him for a liar.
  • transitive v. Archaic To have sexual intercourse with.
  • intransitive v. To possess knowledge, understanding, or information.
  • intransitive v. To be cognizant or aware.
  • idiom in the know Informal Possessing special or secret information.
  • idiom you know Informal Used parenthetically in conversation, as to fill pauses or educe the listener's agreement or sympathy: Please try to be, you know, a little quieter. How were we supposed to make camp in a storm like that, you know?

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Knee.
  • intransitive v. To have knowledge; to have a clear and certain perception; to possess wisdom, instruction, or information; -- often with of.
  • intransitive v. To be assured; to feel confident.
  • transitive v. To perceive or apprehend clearly and certainly; to understand; to have full information of.
  • transitive v. To be convinced of the truth of; to be fully assured of.
  • transitive v. 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 v. To recognize; to distinguish; to discern the character of.
  • transitive v. To have sexual intercourse with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Knowledge.
  • n. A dialectal (Scotch) form of knoll
  • n. Middle English forms of knee.

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

  • v. have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations
  • v. accept (someone) to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority
  • v. be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about
  • v. be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt
  • v. have sexual intercourse with
  • v. perceive as familiar
  • v. know how to do or perform something
  • n. the fact of being aware of information that is known to few people
  • v. be able to distinguish, recognize as being different
  • v. know the nature or character of
  • v. have fixed in the mind
  • v. be familiar or acquainted with a person or an object


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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  • see

    July 23, 2009

  • "wonk" in reverse

    December 27, 2006