\ ˈnō \
knew\ˈnü alsoˈnyü \; known\ˈnōn \; knowing

Definition of know 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to perceive directly : have direct cognition of

(2) : to have understanding of importance of knowing oneself

(3) : to recognize the nature of : discern

b(1) : to recognize as being the same as something previously known

(2) : to be acquainted or familiar with

(3) : to have experience of

2a : to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or certain of

b : to have a practical understanding of knows how to write

3 archaic : to have sexual intercourse with

intransitive verb

1 : to have knowledge

2 : to be or become cognizant sometimes used interjectionally with you especially as a filler in informal speech

know from

: to have knowledge of didn't know from sibling rivalry —Penny Marshall



Definition of know (Entry 2 of 2)

in the know

: in possession of exclusive knowledge or information broadly : well-informed

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Other words from know


knowable \ˈnō-ə-bəl \ adjective
knower \ˈnō-ər \ noun

Examples of know in a Sentence


He knows a lot about the history of the town. Do you know the answer? I don't know her name. Do you know what time it is? I don't know the words to that song. They knew a good deal about the problem. She knows the rules of the game. If you want the answer, ask someone who knows. I don't know much about art, but I know what I like. She knows that many people will not believe her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Similarly, Russia knows that Congress has tied Mr Trump’s hands on sanctions. The Economist, "Vladimir Putin’s hopes for his long-awaited meeting with Donald Trump," 14 July 2018 Stewart knew one couple who went this route, left their home and did not even clean out the fridge. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 When the Tubbs Fire came rolling down from the forested hills east of Santa Rosa on the night of Oct. 8, Morgan knew his purpose. Lizzie Johnson,, "Regret haunts Wine Country fire hero: ‘I’ve never cried this much’," 13 July 2018 Often neutrinos hit the Earth with an energy so strong, scientists don’t know what could have possibly propelled them. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Physicists are unveiling cool, new findings from a South Pole neutrino observatory Thursday. Here’s how to watch.," 12 July 2018 That means many doctors are treating patients with opioid and other substance use disorders without knowing about this diagnosis. Melissa Stein, STAT, "Privacy laws are hurting the care of patients with addiction," 13 July 2018 Without knowing what other teams might be offering, Stearns has to see this Machado thing through before moving on to other possible trade opportunities. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers looking to go big with Manny Machado, who is an absolutely perfect fit," 13 July 2018 Many who are interested in orgonites today, like Jenner, the Smiths, and Alanis Morissette, likely don’t know the scandalous roots of the healing crystals., "Kylie Jenner, Crystals & Cults: Inside The Mysterious Orgonite Society," 13 July 2018 Darryl Rogers agreed to coach the Detroit Lions without knowing anything about them. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Who was Darryl Rogers? An offensive innovator with an acerbic wit," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But getting around that barrier is easy — and legal — with a little know-how. Matthew Bennett, USA TODAY, "Save up to 88% by buying miles for premium flights," 10 July 2018 Stay in the know about state workers, unions and public pensions with a 99-cent subscription deal for state workers. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Lottery thieves cheated California's scratcher game. Now retailers have new rules.," 22 June 2018 Have a concise schedule for the day, and make sure your whole team — and the public — are in the know. Jenni Corwin, Teen Vogue, "What Exactly a Die-In Is, and How to Organize Your Own," 6 July 2018 Those in the know suggest his latest effort could debut atop the list with over 700,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending July 5. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Drake's 'Scorpion' Set for Biggest Debut of 2018 & No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart," 2 July 2018 Germany always finds a way, said those in the know as Kroos’s shot curled into the Swedish net as if guided by GPS. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Germany Crashes Out of World Cup With a Loss to South Korea," 28 June 2018 For those who aren’t in the know, Evins is a two-time winner of the Las Vegas Variety Entertainer of the Year award. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "9 hot South Florida events in July," 25 June 2018 Those fruit farmers left survive by serving locals in the know — and in the case of Andy's Orchard, high-end chefs in Santa Monica. Shelby Grad,, "Essential California: An agonizing decision for asylum seekers," 25 June 2018 Zaiane are very similar to Beni Mguild but pricier among those in the know. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "How to Buy, and Style, a Vintage Moroccan Rug," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'know.' 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 know


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)


1592, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for know


Middle English, from Old English cnāwan; akin to Old High German bichnāan to recognize, Latin gnoscere, noscere to come to know, Greek gignōskein


see know entry 1

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Statistics for know

Last Updated

19 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for know

The first known use of know was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for know


\ ˈnō \
knew\ˈnü, ˈnyü \; known\ˈnōn \; knowing

Kids Definition of know

1 : to recognize the identity of I know that guy!

2 : to be aware of the truth of We know that the earth is round.

3 : to have a practical understanding of Her little sister already knows how to read.

4 : to have information or knowledge He knows all about cars.

5 : to be or become aware The president knew about the problem.

6 : to be acquainted or familiar with A taxi driver knows the city well.

7 : to have understanding of It's important to know yourself. I don't know why this happens.

8 : to recognize the nature of We knew them to be honest.

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More from Merriam-Webster on know

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for know

Spanish Central: Translation of know

Nglish: Translation of know for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of know for Arabic Speakers

Comments on know

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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