affecting, implying, or deliberately revealing shrewd knowledge of secret or private information: a knowing glance.
that knows; having knowledge or information; intelligent.
shrewd, sharp, or astute.
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 for knowing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knowingness

Historical Examples of knowingness

  • She has hitherto prided herself on her mental acumen and on her knowingness.

  • The little man had lost in a moment his glib assurance, his knowingness about the pathways of the soul.

  • Guildford was nearer town; "a better class of people go there," he said, with the knowingness that grated on Margaret.

    Margaret Vincent

    Sophia Lucy Clifford

  • The next step was to assume phrase and gesture as the outward and visible mode of knowingness in general.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • Frances, you know, goes in for knowingness—cleverness—the modern vice.

    The Confounding of Camelia

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

British Dictionary definitions for knowingness



suggesting secret information or knowledge
wise, shrewd, or clever
deliberate; intentional


there is no knowing one cannot tell
Derived Formsknowingly, adverbknowingness, noun
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 knowingness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper