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knack

[nak]
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noun
  1. a special skill, talent, or aptitude: He had a knack for saying the right thing.
  2. a clever or adroit way of doing something.
  3. a trick or ruse.
  4. a sharp, cracking sound.
  5. Archaic. a knickknack; trinket.
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Origin of knack

1325–75; Middle English: trick; perhaps same word as knak sharp-sounding blow, rap, cracking noise (imitative)

Synonyms for knack

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for knack

dexterity, genius, ingenuity, quickness, propensity, aptitude, savvy, skill, flair, readiness, head, set, capacity, bent, gift, facility, aptness, trick, turn, expertness

Examples from the Web for knack

Contemporary Examples of knack

Historical Examples of knack

  • Yet do I know what a task I have undertaken, because of the knack you are noted for at writing.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I said it required a knack or a genius or something and that I was certain you had it.

    Mary-'Gusta

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Nothing is more important to good teaching than the knack of apt illustration.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • The Moors brought the knack from the ancient city of Damascus.

  • Did we children of Boccaccio impart to you that knack for practical joking?


British Dictionary definitions for knack

knack

noun
  1. a skilful, ingenious, or resourceful way of doing something
  2. a particular talent or aptitude, esp an intuitive one
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Word Origin for knack

C14: probably variant of knak sharp knock, rap, of imitative origin
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 knack

n.

mid-14c., "deception, trick, device," of uncertain origin, probably from a Low German word meaning "a sharp sounding blow" (cf. Middle English knak, late 14c.; German knacken "to crack"), of imitative origin. Sense of "special skill" is first recorded 1580s, if this is in fact the same word.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper