\ˈnak \

Definition of knack 

1 : a special ready capacity that is hard to analyze or teach

2a : a clever trick or stratagem

b : a clever way of doing something

3 archaic : an ingenious device broadly : toy, knickknack

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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

Examples of knack in a Sentence

She has a knack for telling interesting stories. The jazz musician has an incredible knack for improvisation.

Recent Examples on the Web

This is a household with a knack for taking in misfits. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: 15 Reactions to 'Postpartum'," 4 July 2018 Speaking alongside Kirk was Turning Point’s communications director, Candace Owens, a vitriolic young conservative with a knack for creating viral moments. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus," 23 May 2016 And it's never been a better time to be a kid with a knack for tinkering. Glenn Derene, Popular Mechanics, "How to Raise a Tech-Savvy Kid," 29 May 2013 Perez, whom the Rams list at 6 foot 3, 220 pounds, showed an uncommon knack for reading defenses, making adjustments on the fly and putting the ball in the right place. Sam Farmer,, "Rams free agent quarterback Luis Perez has pro bowler skills," 16 May 2018 For the more sedate nature lovers among us, those with an architectural or artistic knack are welcome to participate in the Chesterton park’s annual Sand Sculpture contest, now in its 21st year and typically held in July. Michelle L. Quinn,, "Climb, swim, camp and more at the Indiana Dunes," 13 May 2018 Niccol has an impressive knack for vehicular casting. Darryn King, WIRED, "Director Andrew Niccol Lives in His Own Truman Show (And So Do You)," 4 May 2018 Talk to Barwidi about a young Ward, then a freshman in high school, asking deep questions about coverages and showing an early knack for wanting to absorb information. Bill Landis,, "Who is Denzel Ward? Why your favorite team just picked him the 2018 NFL Draft," 26 Apr. 2018 Humans, meanwhile, have this uncanny knack for telling when something is Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Why Any Good Fusion Reactor Needs a Decent Set of Speakers," 26 Apr. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of knack

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

History and Etymology for knack

Middle English knak

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Statistics for knack

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for knack

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

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More Definitions for knack



English Language Learners Definition of knack

: an ability, talent, or special skill needed to do something


\ˈnak \

Kids Definition of knack

1 : a natural ability : talent She has a knack for making friends.

2 : a clever or skillful way of doing something : trick Skating is easy once you get the knack.

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Comments on knack

What made you want to look up knack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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