Also called Know-Nothing party.
an ignorant or totally uninformed person; ignoramus.
(initial capital letters) U.S. History. a member of a political party (American party or Know-Nothing party) prominent from 1853 to 1856, whose aim was to keep control of the government in the hands of native-born citizens: so called because members originally professed ignorance of the party's activities.
a person whose anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, and other political attitudes recall the Know-Nothings.
grossly ignorant; totally uninformed.
(initial capital letters) of or relating to the Know-Nothings.
of or relating to a political know-nothing.
Origin of know-nothing
First recorded in 1815–25Related formsknow-noth·ing·ism, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for american party
informal, derogatory an ignorant person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for american party
"ignoramus," 1827, from know + nothing. As a U.S. nativist political party, active 1853-56, the name refers to the secret society at the core of the party, about which members were instructed to answer, if asked about it, that they "know nothing." The party eventually merged into the Republican Party.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper