know

1 of 2

verb

knew ˈnü How to pronounce know (audio)
 also  ˈnyü
; known ˈnōn How to pronounce know (audio) ; knowing

transitive verb

1
a(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
2
a
: 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
knower noun

know

2 of 2

noun

Phrases
know from
: to have knowledge of
didn't know from sibling rivalry Penny Marshall
in the know
: in possession of exclusive knowledge or information
broadly : well-informed

Example Sentences

Verb 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Say, anybody know what that Herbstreit fellow is doing nowadays? Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2022 The volume of water their company’s shares give them varies from year to year, but Reese doesn’t know exactly how much water floods their fields. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Nov. 2022 People have lost their homes and don't know where to go. Lauren Huff, EW.com, 24 Nov. 2022 Others simply did not know where to place it in the standard repertoire of American behavior. M.j. Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 The store was open at the time, but Mr. Solesky didn’t know how many shoppers were inside or whether the gunman was working. Alex Brandon, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Nov. 2022 Finally decided to get an IP but don’t know where to start? Tiffany Hopkins, Bon Appétit, 23 Nov. 2022 Police have not released descriptions for the multiple suspects, and Podany said officials did not yet know exactly how many were involved in the home-invasion robbery. Grace Tooheystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Here's what to know about the outbreak, why these rare cases occur and how Americans can protect themselves against the virus. Eli Cahan, ABC News, 23 Nov. 2022
Noun
Those in the know, however, come here for a longer stay. Joe Minihane, CNN, 8 Nov. 2022 While the announcement of the show's conclusion took fans by surprise in March, a source told PEOPLE at the time, the decision was no shock to those in the know. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2022 Employees laud their company for keeping them in the know — whether about the signing of a new client, the latest on benefits or the status of MarketDial’s overall goals. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Oct. 2022 While KiNK may not yet be a massive name in the States, the Bulgarian producer is revered by those in the know. Katie Bain, Billboard, 28 Oct. 2022 For those still not in the know, the meme in question comes from an HBO promo video of D'Arcy and Cooke asking each other questions written on mini scrolls in a dragon egg bowl. Nick Romano, EW.com, 21 Oct. 2022 For those in the know, these deceptively simple appliances are a god-send for household cleaning. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 17 Oct. 2022 But tucked away is a greater culinary treasure coveted by bar-food fans in the know. Fox News, 12 Oct. 2022 What’s Next: Be sure to stay in the know until the application is ready. Kori Hale, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1592, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near know

Cite this Entry

“Know.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/know. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

know 1 of 2

verb

knew ˈn(y)ü How to pronounce know (audio) ; known ˈnōn How to pronounce know (audio) ; knowing
1
a
: to have understanding of
know yourself
b
: to recognize the nature of
knew them to be honest
2
a
: to recognize the identity of
knew me by my walk
b
: to be acquainted or familiar with
knows the city very well
3
a
: to be aware of the truth of
know that the earth is round
b
: to have a practical understanding of
knows how to write
4
: to have information or knowledge
ask someone who knows
5
: to be or become aware
knew about the problem
knowable adjective
knower noun

know

2 of 2

noun

: the fact of knowing : knowledge
in the know
: well-informed

More from Merriam-Webster on know

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