know

verb
\ ˈnō How to pronounce know (audio) \
knew\ ˈnü How to pronounce knew (audio) also  ˈnyü \; known\ ˈnōn How to pronounce known (audio) \; 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

know

noun

Definition of know (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from know

Verb

knower \ ˈnō-​ər How to pronounce knower (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for know

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of know in a Sentence

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 Experts don’t know why this affects some people and not others and have found that simply continuing with antibiotic treatment can do more harm to a person’s system than good, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Kate Sheridan, SELF, "Here’s Exactly What to Do if a Tick Bites You," 14 July 2018 Today, Kardashian West is known for switching up her hair often, wearing butt-length extensions and wigs in lots of different colors and styles. Lindsey V Thompson, Allure, "Kim Kardashian West Shares a Throwback Picture Minus Her Hair Extensions and Fake Lashes," 13 July 2018 That ruling overturned the 2015 decision by the state labor board, formally known as the Public Employment Relations Board. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "If state Supreme Court rules against San Diego on pensions, it could could cost city millions," 14 July 2018 The home, known as the house on bluff, also has high tech features. David Gleisner, Daily Southtown, "Rare glass house carved into hillside hits the market in Olympia Fields," 14 July 2018 Their cell membranes, for example, are made up of two different kinds of fatty molecules, known as lipids. Prachi Patel, Scientific American, "Engineered Microbe Shakes Up the Tree of Life," 13 July 2018 The Armenian Shadow Puppet Theater, known as Karagyoz, was especially popular in the 18th century. Allison Keyes, Smithsonian, "Illuminating the Shadowy Art of Armenian Puppet Theater," 13 July 2018 World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, was ejected 11 times during his 17 year NBA career. Joseph Spears, Indianapolis Star, "Metta World Peace ejected from game after punting the ball into the crowd," 13 July 2018 The 52-year-old site, officially known as Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park, is inching toward being full. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Mount Trashmore, the landfill that's over 20 stories, will grow bigger and taller," 13 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In turn, SpaceX has gleaned great value from working with NASA, both financially and in know-how for safely flying humans. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The numbers don’t lie—NASA’s move to commercial space has saved money," 20 May 2020 After all, sports and ballet fans are into the technical know-how of things. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: Meet the vocal coach keeping busy while opera stages are all dark," 20 May 2020 Eager to share its know-how, Taiwan is pushing for a greater voice in global health discussions. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Saturday, May 16," 16 May 2020 With stay-at-home orders still in effect in many places, a healthy glow may simply seem unattainable, even as summer approaches — but with a little know-how, bronzers, highlighters and blushes can lend a hand. Caitie Kelly, New York Times, "How to Give Skin a Summer Glow," 15 May 2020 By producing chips for many of the leading tech companies, TSMC has amassed the technical know-how needed to churn out the smallest, most efficient and powerful semiconductors in the highest volumes. Time, "Taiwanese Chipmaker Plans to Build $12 Billion Factory in Arizona," 15 May 2020 The government can leverage this know-how to push the use of products including soaps, sanitisers, and nutritional food that can help fight Covid-19. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "India’s largest consumer goods maker believes it can help the country fight Covid-19," 13 May 2020 But until a satisfactory account of a natural spillover is achieved, that same concentration of know-how, at WIV and another local research centre, the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, will continue to attract suspicion. The Economist, "The origin of covid-19 The pieces of the puzzle of covid-19’s origin are coming to light," 2 May 2020 The right know-how and tools can keep an inconvenience from becoming a trip-ending disaster. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "A Raft Hunt for Caribou in the Alaskan Tundra," 27 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of know

Verb

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

Noun

1592, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for know

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about know

Time Traveler for know

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for know

Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Know.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/know. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for know

know

verb
How to pronounce know (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of know

: to have (information of some kind) in your mind
: to understand (something) : to have a clear and complete idea of (something)
: to have learned (something, such as a skill or a language)

know

verb
\ ˈnō How to pronounce know (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!