Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of Know
Meaning of know by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English knowen from Old English cnāwan from Proto-Germanic *knḗwanan ( “to know” ) from Proto-Indo-European *g'enə-, *g'nō- ( “to know” ) .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /nəʊ/, SAMPA: /n@U/
    • ( US ) IPA: /noʊ/, SAMPA: /noU/
    • Rhymes: -əʊ
    • Homophone: no, noh; now ( in some dialects or accents, but not in standard English )


    to know ( third-person singular simple present knows present participle knowing, simple past knew or knowed ( dialect ), past participle known, knowen ( archaic ), or knowed ( dialect ) )

    1. ( transitive ) To be certain or sure about .
      I know that I’m right and you’re wrong .
      He knew something terrible was going to happen .
    2. ( transitive ) To be acquainted or familiar with; to have encountered .
      I know your mother, but I’ve never met your father .
    3. ( transitive, also intransitive followed by about or, dialectically, from ) To have knowledge of; to have memorised information, data, or facts about .
      He knows more about 19th century politics than one would expect .
      She knows where I live .
      Let me do it. I know how it works .
      You people don't know from funny .
    4. ( Should we delete( + ) this redundant sense? ) ( transitive ) To understand ( a subject ) .
      She knows chemistry better than anybody else .
    5. ( transitive ) To be informed about .
      Do you know that Michelle and Jack are getting divorced? ― Yes, I know .
    6. ( Should we delete( + ) this redundant sense? ) ( transitive ) To be aware of ( a person's ) intentions .
      I won’t lend you any money. You would never pay me back; I know you .
    7. ( transitive ) To experience .
      Their relationship knew ups and downs .
    8. ( transitive, archaic, Biblical ) To have sexual relations with.

    Usage notes

    The dialect verb form is inflected in a non-standard way. In addition the different simple past and past, the form knows is used for both the singular and plural of all persons of the present tense: "I knows", "you knows", "he knows", "we knows", "you knows", and "they knows" .

    Related terms


    know ( plural: knows )

    1. knowledge

    Derived terms

    See also

    • know in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • know in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913


    frequency based on Project Gutenberg corpus">Most common English words: before « see « over « #93: know » much » after » first


Explanation of know by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. accept ( someone ) to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority

    2. The Crown Prince was acknowledged as the true heir to the throne
    3. be familiar or acquainted with a person or an object

    4. She doesn't know this composer
      Do you know my sister?
      We know this movie
      I know him under a different name
      This flower is known as a Peruvian Lily
    5. be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information

    6. I know that the President lied to the people
      I want to know who is winning the game!
      I know it's time
    7. be aware of the truth of something

    8. I know that I left the key on the table
    9. know how to do or perform something

    10. She knows how to knit
      Does your husband know how to cook?
    11. have fixed in the mind

    12. I know Latin
      This student knows her irregular verbs
      Do you know the poem well enough to recite it?
    13. have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations

    14. I know the feeling!
      have you ever known hunger?
    15. perceive as familiar

    16. I know this voice!
    17. be able to distinguish, recognize as being different

    18. The child knows right from wrong
    19. know the nature or character of

    20. have sexual intercourse with

    1. the fact of being aware of information that is known to few people

    2. he is always in the know

    Definition of know by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Know ( nō ), n. Knee. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    2. Know ( nō ), v. t. [imp. Knew ( nū ); p. p. Known ( nōn ); p. pr. & vb. n. Knowing.] [OE. knowen, knawen, AS. cnäwan; akin to OHG. chnäan ( in comp. ), Icel. knä to be able, Russ. znate to know, L. gnoscere, noscere, Gr. γιγηώσκειν, Skr. jnā; fr. the root of E. can, v. i., ken. √45. See Ken, Can to be able, and cf. Acquaint, Cognition, Gnome, Ignore, Noble, Note.]
      1. To perceive or apprehend clearly and certainly; to understand; to have full information of; as, “to know one's duty”.

      O, that a man might know

      The end of this day's business ere it come! Shak.

      There is a certainty in the proposition, and we know it. Dryden.

      Know how sublime a thing it is

      To suffer and be strong. Longfellow.

      2. To be convinced of the truth of; to be fully assured of; as, “to know things from information”.

      3. To be acquainted with; to be no stranger to; to be more or less familiar with the person, character, etc., of; to possess experience of; as, “to know an author; to know the rules of an organization.”

      He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor. v. 21.

      Not to know me argues yourselves unknown. Milton.

      4. To recognize; to distinguish; to discern the character of; as, “to know a person's face or figure”.

      Ye shall know them by their fruits. Matt. vil. 16.

      And their eyes were opened, and they knew him. Luke xxiv. 31.

      To know

      Faithful friend from flattering foe. Shak.

      At nearer view he thought he knew the dead. Flatman.

      5. To have sexual intercourse with.

      And Adam knew Eve his wife. Gen. iv. 1.

      ☞ Know is often followed by an objective and an infinitive ( with or without to ) or a participle, a dependent sentence, etc.

      And I knew that thou hearest me always. John xi. 42.

      The monk he instantly knew to be the prior. Sir W. Scott.

      In other hands I have known money do good. Dickens.

      To know how, to understand the manner, way, or means; to have requisite information, intelligence, or sagacity. How is sometimes omitted. “ If we fear to die, or know not to be patient.” Jer. Taylor.

    3. Know, v. i.
      1. To have knowledge; to have a clear and certain perception; to possess wisdom, instruction, or information; -- often with of.

      Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Is. i. 3.

      If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John vii. 17.

      The peasant folklore of Europe still knows of willows that bleed and weep and speak when hewn. Tylor.

      2. To be assured; to feel confident.

      To know of, to ask, to inquire. [Obs.] “ Know of your youth, examine well your blood.” Shak.