know-noth·​ing·​ism ˈnō-ˌnə-thiŋ-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce know-nothingism (audio)
capitalized K&N : the principles and policies of the Know-Nothings
: the condition of knowing nothing or desiring to know nothing or the conviction that nothing can be known with certainty especially in religion or morality
often capitalized K&N : a mid-20th century political attitude characterized by anti-intellectualism, exaggerated patriotism, and fear of foreign subversive influences

Word History

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of know-nothingism was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near know-nothingism

Cite this Entry

“Know-nothingism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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