1 verb past tense knew, past participle known INFORMATION
1 (intransitive, transitive not in progressive) to have information about something: Who knows the answer? | Do you happen to know the time? | When are they arriving? Maybe Mrs. Mott knows. | instructions telling you everything you need to know | Marriage cancels a will, didn't you know that? | I had spoken without knowing all the facts. | know what/where/when etc: Do you know what I'm supposed to be doing? | I don't know where to go. | know about: The council has known about the leak for six months. | know all about: spoken: We know all about David and what he's been up to! | know (that): She knew that her father was sick, but not how serious it was. | knowing that (=because you know): I went to bed early knowing that I had to get up at six a.m. | want to know (=want to be told): I want to know what happened. | I thought you'd want to know immediately. | "When do I start?" Carlos wanted to know. | I'm dying to know spoken (=I am very eager to find out): I'm dying to know who won! | without sb knowing (=secretly, privately, or without someone being told): You can't do anything without the whole town knowing. | know to do sth (=know that you should do it): She knows not to tell anyone about it. | know sth/sb to be sth (=know that something is true about them): a story which he knew to be true | I know him to be a good worker. | how do you know? spoken (=how did you find out or what make you think that?): How did he know our names? | "Jason won't want to be involved." "How do you know?" | as you/we know: spoken: As you know, there's been a tremendous revival of interest in the project. | as/so far as I know (=I believe that it is true, but I am not certain): No other athlete, so far as I know, has won so many medals. | know for certain/sure: I think she's going but I don't know for sure. | know from experience: I know from experience that he's got a foul temper. | I wouldn't know spoken (=I do not know, and I am not the person you should ask): "When is he coming back?" "I wouldn't know." | know the way (=know how to get to a place): Does he know the way to your house?
2 let sb know to tell someone about something: When it stops, let me know. | Give him this medicine, and let us know if he's not better in two days. | Thank you for your application; we'll let you know. (=we will tell you soon whether you have been successful)
3 know sth inside out also know sth backwards to know something extremely well: We expect you to know these codes inside out, men.
4 I know spoken
a) used to say that you have suddenly had an idea, thought of a solution to a problem, etc: "What should we do?" "I know, we could ask Anne to help."
b) used to agree with someone or to say that you feel the same way: "I'm so worn out!" "Yeah, I know."
c) used to prevent someone from objecting to what you say by saying the objection first: It sounds silly, I know, but try it anyway. | I know, I know, I should have had the car checked out before now.
5 I don't know spoken
a) used to say that you do not have the answer to a question: "When did they arrive?" "I don't know." | "Why did you do that?" "I don't know."
b) used to show that you disagree slightly with what has just been said: "I couldn't live there." "Oh, I don't know. It might not be so bad."
c) used when you are not sure about something: Oh, I don't know, sixty, seventy?
(+ if/whethr/that): I don't know if I would want to teach.
d) used to show that you are slightly annoyed: Oh, I don't know! You're hopeless!
6 I don't know how/why etc used to criticize someone: I don't know how people could treat a child like that..
7 I don't know whether you want to...? spoken used to ask someone politely to do something: I don't know whether you want to respond to that?
8 I don't know about you but... spoken used to give an opinion, suggestion, or decision of your own which might be different from that of the person listening: I don't know about you, but I'm going home.
9 I don't know how to thank you/repay you spoken formal used to thank someone
10 you know spoken
a) used to emphasize a statement: There'll be trouble, you know. | I don't like to brag but, you know, I did do pretty well.
b) used when you need to keep someone's attention, but cannot think of what to say next: I was just, you know, looking through my slides before you came.
c) used when you are explaining or describing something and want to give more information: That padding that you put on the car, you know, that stuff on the doors.
11 you know/do you know spoken used to start talking about something, or make someone listen: You know your cousin? You'll never guess what she did! | You know, it's a sad thing about this guy. | Do you know, when I went out this morning that man was still there. | (do) you know what/something?: But do you know what? He got fired.
12 (intransitive, transitive not in progressive) to be sure about something: I just know I won't get the job. | I knew you'd say that. | The boy stared at him uncertainly, not knowing whether to believe him. | how do you know? (=what makes you feel certain?): How do you know he won't do it again?
13 (transitive not in progressive) to have learned a lot about something or be skilful and experienced at doing something: I don't know enough history to make a comparison. | I taught him everything he knows. | know how to: Do you know how to change a fuse? | know about: I have a friend who knows about antiques. | know all about: Politicians know all about the power of language. | know what you are doing (=have enough skill and experience to deal with something properly) | know what you are talking about: You listen to Aunt Kate, she knows what she's talking about. | know your job/subject also know your stuff (=be good at and know all you should about a job or subject)
14 think you know everything/think you know all the answers to behave in a way that is too confident, always trying to give people advice
15 know a thing or two informal to have a lot of useful information gained from experience
16 (T) to be familiar with a person, place, etc: I've known her for twenty years. | Are you really thinking of leaving Kevin for a guy you barely know? | Anyone who knows his work and who knows Wales will see the connection. | Do you know the Boy's Club in Claremont? | know sb well: We did not know each other well enough to talk freely. | get to know: I'm getting to know the neighbors. | You need time to get to know a new instrument. | as we know it (=in the form that we are familiar with): That will mean an end to the Tory Party as we know it. | know sb/sth inside out (=be very familiar with them): We need someone who knows the area inside out. | That's the thing about Mom, she knows me inside out. | know sb by sight (=often see them, but not know them well): I know her by sight, but I don't think I've ever spoken to her. | knowing him/if I know him (=I know what he is like and expect him to do a particular thing): Knowing Sumi, my note's probably still in her pocket. | He'll be chatting up the women, if I know Ron!
17 know a language to be able to speak, read, and understand a foreign language: I know some French.
18 know a song/a tune/a poem etc to be able to sing a song, play a tune, say a poem etc because you have learned it: Do you know all the words to `As Time Goes By'? | know sth (off) by heart (=to have learned it and be able to repeat it from memory)
19 (I, T) to realize, find out about, or understand something: Miss Brown knew as soon as she came in that something was wrong. | Hardly knowing what he was doing, Nick pulled out a cigarette. | I know I have been avoiding the issue. | (do/if) you know what I mean? spoken (=used to ask if someone has understood you): It's nice to have a change sometimes. Know what I mean? | I/she etc should have known spoken (=used to say that someone ought to have realized something): I should have known it would take this long. | I might have known BrE spoken (=I should not be surprised that something has happend, but I am annoyed): I might have known you'd be mixed up in this mess! | know exactly/precisely: I know exactly how you feel. | know perfectly well/full well/only too well: You know perfectly well what I mean. | sb will never know/no one will ever know (=no one will realize that something has happened): Just take it, no one will ever know. | and you know it spoken: This has nothing to do with gratitude and you know it. | if I had known/if I'd have known: If I had known they were in trouble, I'd have gone to help. | little did she know literary: As she closed the door, she little knew that this was the last time she would leave this house.
20 (T) to be able to recognize someone or something: Honestly, it had been so long, I hardly knew her.
(+ by): He looked very different, but I knew him by his voice.
21 know sth from sth to understand the difference between one thing and another: Lloyd doesn't even know his right from his left. | She knows right from wrong: she can't claim she was insane.
22 not know sb from Adam informal to not know who someone is at all
23 (T) to live through an experience: I never knew an American before Vietnam.
(+ about): I know all about being poor, so don't think I don't.
24 I've never known used to say that you have never heard of or experienced something as surprising as the thing you are describing: This weather is amazing. I've never known anything like it!
25 I've never known sb to do sth used to say that someone never does something: I've never known him to iron anything.
26 sb/sth is not known to be sth also sb/sth has never been known to do sth used to say that there is no information that says that a person or animal behaves in a particular way: This species is not known to be vicious.
27 I've known sb to do sth also sb has been known to do sth used to say that someone does something sometimes, even if it is unusual: Watch it. He's been known to eat a whole pizza himself!
28 you never know used to say that it is possible that something good may happen: I might be able to catch the earlier train, you never know.
29 how should I know?/how am I to know?/how do I know? used to say that it is not reasonable to expect that you should know something: "What's it like?" "I haven't seen it, so how should I know?"
30 how was I to know?/how did I know? used as an excuse or to say that you are sorry: It's not my fault - how was I to know it would rain!
31 I ought to know used to emphasize that you know about something because you made it, experienced it etc: "Are you sure there's no sugar in it?" "Of course. I ought to know, I made it!"
32 not that I know of used when answering a question to say that you believe that the answer is `no', but there may be facts that you do not know about: "Andrew didn't phone today, did he?" "Not that I know of."
33 if you must know used when you are annoyed at having to give information to someone: "Where is it?" "In an envelope, if you must know," said James impatiently.
34 for all I know used to say that you do not know about something and it does not really matter because you are not involved or affected: It cost millions. It could be billions for all I know.
35 there's no knowing it is impossible to know: There is no knowing what she will do next.
36 (I'm/I'll be) damned if I know! used to emphasize that you do not know something, and are annoyed or think something is hopeless: "Whatever are we going to do?" "Damned if I know."
37 Heaven/God/who/goodness knows!
a) used to say that you do not have any idea what an answer might be, and do not expect to know: "Where do you think he's disappeared to this time?" "God knows!"
b) used to emphasize a statement: I haven't seen her for goodness knows how long. | It might make us more efficient, which heaven knows we need.
38 not want to know informal to refuse to listen to a complaint or a problem: We phoned the council about the damage, but they just didn't want to know.
39 knowing my luck used to say that you expect something bad will happen because you are usually unlucky: Knowing his luck, he'll get hit with a golf ball or something.
40 (well,) what do you know! used to express surprise: Well, what do you know - look who's arrived!
41 the next thing you know used to say that something happens suddenly and unexpectedly: One minute everybody's laughing and the next thing you know, they're all arguing!
42 I will (want to) know the reason why an expression meaning you will want an explanation, used in a threatening way: It had better be right this time, or I'll know the reason why.
43 if you know what's good for you used to tell someone that they should do something, or you will harm them in some way: You'll just keep your mouth shut about this if you know what's good for you!
44 you know who/what used to talk about someone or something without mentioning their name: I saw you know who yesterday.
45 be known as to also be called something: Chicago is known as 'the windy city'.
46 know better
a) to be wise or experienced enough to avoid making mistakes: know better than to...: She ought to know better than to expect any help from Roger.
b) to know or think you know more than someone else: They said it was gold, but Sharon knew better.
47 know best used to say that someone should be obeyed or that their way of doing things should be accepted because they are experienced: I think I know best how to deal with my own staff! | Mother/Father etc knows best: Don't argue. Daddy knows best!
48 know your own mind to be confident and have firm ideas about what you want and like
49 you will be delighted/pleased to know that formal used before you give someone information that they will be pleased to hear: You will be pleased to know that we have accepted your offer.
- see also: know no bounds bound 4 (6), know the ropes rope 1 (2), know the score score 1 (5), know your place place 1 (30), not know what hit you hit 1 (14) USAGE NOTE: KNOW WORD CHOICE: know, find out, hear/read about, get to know, learn, study If you know a fact, person, or place, or how to speak a language, drive a car etc, you have information about it in your mind, or the skills to do it. Often you know something only after you have heard or read about it, or if you have found it out (especially deliberately) or got to know about it (especially by chance): When he heard about the affair he became extremely angry. | I use my dictionary to find out the correct pronunciation (NOT know).)| During the visit we got to know something about the American way of life. You also get to know a person. If you learn something, that may mean that you find it out, but this is a formal use of the word: He learnt the news/that he had won a prize. Usually to learn means to make an effort to remember something you have found out or been taught, or to practise a skill, so that you then know it: I'm trying to learn the names of all the students in my class (NOT know).).| She is learning English/learning to drive. If you spend time learning about something, especially in a school, university etc you study it: Gina is studying engineering at London University. know of sb/sth phrasal verb (T) to have been told or to have read that something exists, but not know much about it: I know of one company that makes these things. 2 noun in the know informal having more information about something than most people: People in the know say that interest rates will have to rise again soon.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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