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

knowable \ ˈnō-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce knowable (audio) \ adjective
knower \ ˈnō-​ər How to pronounce knower (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for know

Synonyms: Verb

comprehend, grasp, understand

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

For those of you not in the know, Prince Harry has a very important BFF named Daphne Dunne, who's an (adorably sweet) Australian war widow. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Read the Surprise Letter Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Wrote to Their Most Devoted Fan," 29 Mar. 2019 Only about one-third of craft drinkers nationally are familiar with Ballast Point and even fewer know about its flagship Sculpin, according to Constellation’s consumer research. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "How Ballast Point, once one of the fastest-growing craft breweries, lost its mojo — and how it might get it back," 18 May 2018 One of his main goals has been letting the public know about the 1,350 acres spread over 50-plus properties that the Sippican Lands Trust protects — about 15 percent of the land in Marion. Paul E. Kandarian, BostonGlobe.com, "A nature lover from the get-go, he wants more to get out," 11 May 2018 That means there's no time to waste in letting the state know of your community's or business's interest in your area being nominated. Anchorage Daily News, "Opportunity zones in Alaska could be a game changer for Alaska, but the time is short to act," 15 Mar. 2018 The wonder cream that had those in the know raving about its benefits has become a staple in the mother and daughters’ medicine cabinets. Mia Adorante, Town & Country, "How One Mother’s Beauty Philosophy Became a Powerful Family Bond," 21 Mar. 2019 Yes, the creators (including showrunners Brian Yorkey and Diana Son) know of the criticisms. Kevin O'keefe, chicagotribune.com, "‘13 Reasons Why,’ Season 2, argues for its existence," 16 May 2018 Brands developed exclusively by people of color—such as legacy brands like Aphogee and Iman Cosmetics—have been around for quite a while to those in the know, but were really hard to find. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "11 Black-Owned Beauty Brands You Need on Your Radar," 8 Mar. 2019 For those who aren’t in the know, these aren’t just there for Instagram-worthy moments. Christina Liao, Vogue, "Inside the World’s Most Expensive Hotel Suite, Designed by Damien Hirst," 1 Mar. 2019

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

Statistics for know

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for know

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for know

know

verb

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

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!