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 Officials say the drug, which often kills by being laced into another drug without the user knowing, is now primarily brought in through the land border with Mexico after being produced with precursors from China. Adam Shaw, Fox News, 24 June 2022 Eco-conscious slumberers can also rest easy knowing that the mattress is made of sustainable materials. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2022 Instead, the next eight chapters contain a long and detailed analysis of each element, of related concepts, and of terms such as elenchus and aporia that, while worth knowing, are hardly essential to the everyday application of the Socratic method. Martha Bayles, WSJ, 24 June 2022 Would Anne Elliot quip snarky, girlboss one-liners to a knowing audience? Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 June 2022 What nobody else had that benefit of knowing who else supplied and how to position themselves as better than them. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 29 Apr. 2022 In the Olympic-level snowboarding and freestyle skiing world, there is an innocuous-sounding compound word that almost always evokes a visceral reaction — a deep sigh, a shaking of the head, a knowing nod. Airbags. New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 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 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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Cite this Entry

“Knowing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 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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