know·​ing | \ ˈnō-iŋ How to pronounce knowing (audio) \

Definition of knowing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having or reflecting knowledge, information, or intelligence
2a : shrewdly and keenly alert : astute a knowing observer
b : indicating possession of exclusive inside knowledge or information a knowing smile
3 : cognitive
4 : deliberate knowing interference in the affairs of another



Definition of knowing (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from knowing


knowingly adverb
knowingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for knowing

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of knowing in a Sentence

Adjective She looked at us in a knowing way. exchanged a knowing look with her business partner during the sales presentation
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hers, however, is at once more knowing, and more self-deprecatory. Sophie Madeline Dess, The Atlantic, 10 Jan. 2022 Its buildings now resemble its brands: cooler, cuter, greener, more knowing and ironic. Darran Anderson, The Atlantic, 24 Aug. 2020 Instead, Doe must show Michigan State harmed her through obvious and knowing indifference: school officials knew about what happened and then looked the other way. Michael Mccann,, 13 Apr. 2018 Here, a simple introduction -- a knowing glance among friends -- takes place. Susan Scutti, CNN, 11 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The first step is to bridge the knowing-doing gap and bring sustainability to the strategic table by incorporating it into all business objectives. Joanna Swash, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The judge gave the McMichaels until Friday to decide whether to plead guilty knowing there would be no guarantees. NBC News, 4 Feb. 2022 When the duo took their places in the East Room, the act starring the cooler, younger politician and the knowing, slightly mischievous elder statesman began. New York Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Asked to compare the lows of 2021 to the highs of winning a medal in four Olympics and gold for two countries, Humphries’ husband Travis Armbruster exhaled a knowing breath. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Feb. 2022 North filmed a live video, recording the inside of her home without the mom of four knowing., 18 Feb. 2022 That felt key to me, that there was this unconscious knowing that time actually was running out. Michael Ordoña Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2022 Other surprise guests included Serena Williams, while Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, and Candice Swanepoel lent their seasons of experience to the finale dedicated to truly extra eveningwear with Abloh’s signature knowing twist. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 28 Feb. 2022 At the end of the clip, Sheeran and Swift appear to pick them up from school, and share a knowing look before going their separate ways. Rachel Desantis,, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knowing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of knowing


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for knowing

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The first known use of knowing was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near knowing



know it

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Statistics for knowing

Cite this Entry

“Knowing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for knowing


know·​ing | \ ˈnō-iŋ \

Kids Definition of knowing

1 : having or showing special knowledge, information, or intelligence
2 : shrewdly and keenly alert The baby looked around with knowing eyes.

Other Words from knowing

knowingly adverb



Legal Definition of knowing

1 : having or reflecting knowledge a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel — see also intelligent
2 : deliberate sense 2 knowing possession knowing endangerment — compare mens rea

Other Words from knowing

knowingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on knowing

Nglish: Translation of knowing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of knowing for Arabic Speakers


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