know
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /nəʊ/
  • (America) enPR: nō, IPA: /noʊ/
Verb

know (knows, present participle knowing; past knew, past participle known)

  1. (transitive) To perceive the truth or factuality of; to be certain of or that.
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 35:
      ‘I know whether a boy is telling me the truth or not.’
      ‘Thank you, sir.’
      Did he hell. They never bloody did.
    I know that I’m right and you’re wrong.
    He knew something terrible was going to happen.
  2. (transitive) To be aware of; to be cognizant of.
    Did you know Michelle and Jack were getting divorced? ― Yes, I knew.
    She knows where I live.
    I knew he was upset, but I didn't understand why.
  3. (transitive) To be acquainted or familiar with; to have encountered.
    I know your mother, but I’ve never met your father.
    • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20181113034859/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-2-hello/3113733.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      Marsha is my roommate. — I know Marsha. She is nice.
  4. (transitive) To experience.
    Their relationship knew ups and downs.
    • 1991, Irvin Haas, Historic Homes of the American Presidents, p.155:
      The Truman family knew good times and bad, […].
  5. (transitive) To be able to distinguish, to discern, particularly by contrast or comparison; to recognize the nature of.
    to know a person's face or figure
    to know right from wrong
    I wouldn't know one from the other.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 7:16 ↗:
      Ye shall know them by their fruits.
    • 1920, Mary Roberts Rinehart; Avery Hopwood, chapter I, in The Bat: A Novel from the Play (Dell Book; 241), New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing Company, OCLC 20230794 ↗, [https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hwptej;view=1up;seq=5 page 01]:
      The Bat—they called him the Bat. […]. He'd never been in stir, the bulls had never mugged him, he didn't run with a mob, he played a lone hand, and fenced his stuff so that even the fence couldn't swear he knew his face.
    • 1980, Armored and mechanized brigade operations, p.3−29:
      Flares do not know friend from foe and so illuminate both. Changes in wind direction can result in flare exposure of the attacker while defenders hide in the shadows.
  6. (transitive) To recognize as the same (as someone or something previously encountered) after an absence or change.
    • circa 1645–1688 Thomas Flatman, Translation of Part of Petronius Arbiter's Satyricon
      At nearer view he thought he knew the dead, / And call'd the wretched man to mind.
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein:
      Ernest also is so much improved, that you would hardly know him: […].
  7. To understand or have a grasp of through experience or study.
    Let me do it. I know how it works.
    She knows how to swim.
    His mother tongue is Italian, but he also knows French and English.
    She knows chemistry better than anybody else.
    Know your enemy and know yourself.
  8. (transitive, archaic, Biblical) To have sexual relations with. This meaning normally specified in modern English as e.g. to ’know someone in the biblical sense’ or to ‘know Biblically.’
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗:
      , Book of Genesis 4.1:
      And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
  9. (intransitive) To have knowledge; to have information, be informed.
    It is vital that he not know.
    She knew of our plan.
    He knows about 19th century politics.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
      “My Continental prominence is improving,” I commented dryly. ¶ Von Lindowe cut at a furze bush with his silver-mounted rattan. ¶ “Quite so,” he said as dryly, his hand at his mustache. “I may say if your intentions were known your life would not be worth a curse.”
    • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20170918070146/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-3-i-am-here/3126527.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      Marsha knows.
  10. (intransitive) To be or become aware or cognizant.
    Did you know Michelle and Jack were getting divorced? ― Yes, I knew.
  11. (intransitive, obsolete) To be acquainted (with another person).
    • 1607, William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, scene 6:
      You and I have known, sir.
  12. (transitive) To be able to play or perform (a song or other piece of music).
    Do you know "Blueberry Hill"?
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

know (plural knows)

  1. (rare) Knowledge; the state of knowing.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1623 first folio edition), act 5, scene 2:
      That on the view and know of these Contents, […] He should the bearers put to […] death,



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