- Know is defined as to have an understanding of, be aware of or be familiar with someone or something.
- An example of know is a doctor having the information needed to treat their patients.
- An example of know is a friend recognizing another friend at a concert.
transitive verbknew, known, knowing
- to have a clear perception or understanding of; be sure of or well informed about: to know the facts
- to be aware or cognizant of; have perceived or learned: to know that one is loved
- to have a firm mental grasp of; have securely in the memory: to know the multiplication tables
- to be acquainted or familiar with: I knew him well
- to experience: she has known both pleasure and pain
- to have understanding of or skill in as a result of study or experience: to know music
- to recognize: I'd know that face anywhere
- to recognize as distinct; distinguish: to know right from wrong
- Archaic to have sexual intercourse with
Origin of knowMiddle English knowen ; from Old English cnawan, akin to Old High German -cnāhan ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ĝen-, an unverified form ĝnō-, to know, apprehend from source can, ken, Classical Latin gnoscere, to know, Classical Greek gignōskein
- to have knowledge
- to be sure, informed, or aware
in the know
verbknew knew , known known , know·ing, knows
- To perceive directly; grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty.
- To regard as true beyond doubt: I know she won't fail.
- To have a practical understanding of, as through experience; be skilled in: knows how to cook.
- To have fixed in the mind: knows her Latin verbs.
- To have experience of: “a black stubble that had known no razor” (William Faulkner).
- a. To perceive as familiar; recognize: I know that face.b. To be acquainted with: He doesn't know his neighbors.
- To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct: knows right from wrong.
- To discern the character or nature of: knew him for a liar.
- Archaic To have sexual intercourse with.
- To possess knowledge, understanding, or information.
- To be cognizant or aware.
Origin of knowMiddle English knouen, from Old English cnāwan; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.
- To be certain or sure about.
- I know that I’m right and you’re wrong. He knew something terrible was going to happen.
- To be acquainted or familiar with; to have encountered.
- I know your mother, but I’ve never met your father.
- To recognize; to distinguish; to discern the character of.
- to know a person's face or figure
- (also intransitive followed by about or, dialectally, 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.
- To understand (a subject).
- She knows chemistry better than anybody else.
- To be informed about.
- Do you know that Michelle and Jack are getting divorced? ― Yes, I know.
- To experience.
- Their relationship knew ups and downs.
- (archaic, biblical) To have sexual relations with.
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".
- get to know
From Middle English knowen, from Old English cnāwan (“to know, perceive, recognise”), from Proto-Germanic *knēaną (“to know”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃- (“to know”). Cognate with Scots knaw (“to know, recognise”), Icelandic kná (“to know, know how to, be able”).