: a special ready capacity that is hard to analyze or teach
: a clever trick or stratagem
: a clever way of doing something
archaic : an ingenious device
broadly : toy, knickknack
Choose the Right Synonym for knack

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something.

gift often implies special favor by God or nature.

the gift of singing beautifully

faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function.

a faculty for remembering names

aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it.

a mechanical aptitude

bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability.

a family with an artistic bent

talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed.

has enough talent to succeed

genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability.

has no great genius for poetry

knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance.

the knack of getting along

Example Sentences

She has a knack for telling interesting stories. The jazz musician has an incredible knack for improvisation.
Recent Examples on the Web Branch plugs in as a do-it-all defender with a knack for finding the ball from any spot on the field. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2023 The Diamondbacks have other interesting shortstops further down in the system, namely 17-year-old Cristofer Torin, a prospect regarded as a flashy defender with a knack for hitting. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 6 Mar. 2023 In the Heights star Anthony Ramos appears as Noah Diaz, an ex-military Brooklynite with a knack for electronics, is stuck in the driver's seat inside Mirage as the Autobot creates identical decoys to hide them from the ensuing cops. Nick Romano,, 13 Feb. 2023 But her latest is the Peacock mystery Poker Face, in which Lyonne plays Charlie Cale — a casino host with a knack for knowing when someone is lying. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2023 Cushing , a Holy Cross soccer commit, is an ultra-quick point guard with a knack for getting to the rim. Trevor Hass,, 1 Feb. 2023 Besties with a knack for DIY can add braided bangs to accentuate minimalist hairstyles. Seventeen Magazine, Seventeen, 19 Jan. 2023 This is the first Mhoba expression—and the first South African rum, period—to make it to the States, courtesy of Holmes Cay, a small independent bottler with a knack for finding excellent rums and bottling them at cask strength. Tony Sachs, Robb Report, 18 Jan. 2023 Vrana, 26, is a top-line winger with a knack for scoring. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 3 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English knak

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of knack was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near knack

Cite this Entry

“Knack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a clever or skillful way of doing something : trick
: a natural ability : talent
has a knack for making friends

More from Merriam-Webster on knack

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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