know something or someone for what it/he/she is

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of know something or someone for what it/he/she is

: to understand what something or someone truly is
  • Now I know them for what they are—liars.
  • before scientists knew the disease for what it is—a virus

Word by Word Definitions

know play
  1. : to perceive directly : have direct cognition of

  2. : to have understanding of

  3. : to recognize the nature of : discern

  1. : knowledge

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

what play
  1. used as an interrogative expressing inquiry about the identity, nature, or value of an object or matter

  2. often used to ask for repetition of an utterance or part of an utterance not properly heard or understood

  3. : who

  1. : why

  2. : in what respect : how

  1. used as an interrogative expressing inquiry about the identity, nature, or value of a person, object, or matter

  2. : how remarkable or striking for good or bad qualities

  3. : whatever

he play
  1. : that male one who is neither speaker nor hearer — compare him, his, it, she, they

  2. used in a generic sense or when the sex of the person is unspecified

  1. : a male person or animal

  2. : one that is strongly masculine or has strong masculine appeal

  1. : the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet — see Alphabet Table

  1. helium

she play
  1. : that female one who is neither speaker nor hearer — compare he, her, hers, it, they

  2. used to refer to one regarded as feminine (as by personification)

  3. used as an alternative to he to refer to a person of unspecified gender

  1. : a female person or animal

  1. : she or he


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