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knowing

[noh-ing]
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adjective
  1. affecting, implying, or deliberately revealing shrewd knowledge of secret or private information: a knowing glance.
  2. that knows; having knowledge or information; intelligent.
  3. shrewd, sharp, or astute.
  4. conscious; intentional; deliberate.

Origin of knowing

1325–75; Middle English knawynge (earlier knowende, knawande). See know1, -ing2
Related formsknow·ing·ly, adverbknow·ing·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. meaningful, significant, eloquent, perceptive.

know1

[noh]
verb (used with object), knew, known, know·ing.
  1. to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty: I know the situation fully.
  2. to have established or fixed in the mind or memory: to know a poem by heart; Do you know the way to the park from here?
  3. to be cognizant or aware of: I know it.
  4. be acquainted with (a thing, place, person, etc.), as by sight, experience, or report: to know the mayor.
  5. to understand from experience or attainment (usually followed by how before an infinitive): to know how to make gingerbread.
  6. to be able to distinguish, as one from another: to know right from wrong.
  7. Archaic. to have sexual intercourse with.
verb (used without object), knew, known, know·ing.
  1. to have knowledge or clear and certain perception, as of fact or truth.
  2. to be cognizant or aware, as of some fact, circumstance, or occurrence; have information, as about something.
noun
  1. the fact or state of knowing; knowledge.
Idioms
  1. in the know, possessing inside, secret, or special information.
  2. know the ropes, Informal. to understand or be familiar with the particulars of a subject or business: He knew the ropes better than anyone else in politics.

Origin of know1

before 900; Middle English knowen, knawen, Old English gecnāwan; cognate with Old High German -cnāhan, Old Norse knā to know how, be able to; akin to Latin (g)nōvī, Greek gignṓskein. See gnostic, can1
Related formsknow·er, noun

Synonyms

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1. Know, comprehend, understand imply being aware of meanings. To know is to be aware of something as a fact or truth: He knows the basic facts of the subject. I know that he agrees with me. To comprehend is to know something thoroughly and to perceive its relationships to certain other ideas, facts, etc. To understand is to be fully aware not only of the meaning of something but also of its implications: I could comprehend all he said, but did not understand that he was joking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for knowing

knowing

adjective
  1. suggesting secret information or knowledge
  2. wise, shrewd, or clever
  3. deliberate; intentional
noun
  1. there is no knowing one cannot tell
Derived Formsknowingly, adverbknowingness, noun

know

verb knows, knowing, knew (njuː) or known (nəʊn) (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr; may take a clause as object) to be or feel certain of the truth or accuracy of (a fact, etc)
  2. to be acquainted or familiar withshe's known him five years
  3. to have a familiarity or grasp of, as through study or experiencehe knows French
  4. (also intr; may take a clause as object) to understand, be aware of, or perceive (facts, etc)he knows the answer now
  5. (foll by how) to be sure or aware of (how to be or do something)
  6. to experience, esp deeplyto know poverty
  7. to be intelligent, informed, or sensible enough (to do something)she knew not to go home yet
  8. (may take a clause as object) to be able to distinguish or discriminate
  9. archaic to have sexual intercourse with
  10. I know what I have an idea
  11. know what's what to know how one thing or things in general work
  12. you know informal a parenthetical filler phrase used to make a pause in speaking or add slight emphasis to a statement
  13. you never know things are uncertain
noun
  1. in the know informal aware or informed
Derived Formsknowable, adjectiveknower, noun

Word Origin

Old English gecnāwan; related to Old Norse knā I can, Latin noscere to come to know
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for knowing

adj.

"with knowledge of truth," late 14c., from present participle of know (v.). Related: Knowingly.

know

v.

Old English cnawan (class VII strong verb; past tense cneow, past participle cnawen), "to know, perceive; acknowledge, declare," from Proto-Germanic *knew- (cf. Old High German bi-chnaan, ir-chnaan "to know"), from PIE root *gno- "to know" (cf. Old Persian xšnasatiy "he shall know;" Old Church Slavonic znati, Russian znat "to know;" Latin gnoscere; Greek *gno-, as in gignoskein; Sanskrit jna- "know"). Once widespread in Germanic, this form is now retained only in English, where however it has widespread application, covering meanings that require two or more verbs in other languages (e.g. German wissen, kennen, erkennen and in part können; French connaître, savoir; Latin novisse, cognoscere; Old Church Slavonic znaja, vemi). The Anglo-Saxons used two distinct words for this, witan (see wit) and cnawan.

Meaning "to have sexual intercourse with" is attested from c.1200, from the Old Testament. To not know one's ass from one's elbow is from 1930. To know better "to have learned from experience" is from 1704. You know as a parenthetical filler is from 1712, but it has roots in 14c. To know too much (to be allowed to live, escape, etc.) is from 1872. As an expression of surprise, what do you know attested by 1914.

know

n.

"inside information" (as in in the know), 1883; earlier "fact of knowing" (1590s), from know (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with knowing

know

In addition to the idioms beginning with know

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.