Definition of knowledge in English:



  • 1Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

    ‘a thirst for knowledge’
    ‘her considerable knowledge of antiques’
    • ‘There is among the people of the nation a hunger for learning and knowledge, in many aspects of their lives.’
    • ‘Fortunately, he imparted his knowledge to a generation of postgraduate students.’
    • ‘Some people say that with age comes wisdom and knowledge, and as such you can live a much richer life.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the author's knowledge of his subject is not matched by literary grace.’
    • ‘In my opinion, a school is far more than an institution which imparts knowledge and wisdom to its students.’
    • ‘He appears to have very little knowledge with regard to the Internet and IT.’
    • ‘If others with more knowledge of the procedure e-mail me, I'll put out a further update.’
    • ‘He was always fascinated by science and nature and he had an insatiable thirst for knowledge.’
    • ‘Experts, driven by a belief in their professional knowledge, often cover up their own shortcomings.’
    • ‘His travels had given him a wide knowledge of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art.’
    • ‘All of these plans require insider knowledge in order to carry out the operation in a timely and accurate manner.’
    • ‘Michael's experiences left him energized, excited, and eager to apply his newfound knowledge to his own enterprise.’
    • ‘Research has shown that those who are least comfortable with computer technology have the least knowledge of it.’
    • ‘But he is aware that there is a long way to go before knowledge about sexual health is widespread.’
    • ‘Installing the card and the software was extremely straightforward with no need for specialist technical knowledge.’
    • ‘The goal of science education is not only to help students acquire scientific knowledge, but to understand its development.’
    • ‘The book reveals the author's encyclopaedic knowledge of the hundreds of aristocratic families and their houses all over Ireland.’
    • ‘Held back in her career by dyslexia, she struggled to learn new skills but realised that computer knowledge was the key to getting ahead.’
    • ‘A scientific fact is knowledge that can be gained by means of scientific research.’
    • ‘To achieve this objective, responders were asked to rate their computer knowledge.’
    familiarity with, acquaintance with, conversance with, intimacy with
    information, facts, data, intelligence, news, reports
    understanding, comprehension, grasp, grip, command, mastery, apprehension
    learning, erudition, education, scholarship, letters, schooling, science
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The sum of what is known.
      ‘the transmission of knowledge’
      • ‘As they disappear, so does their ancient culture, their wisdom, their knowledge.’
      • ‘I wondered too if we will ever find a way for a more efficient transmission of knowledge.’
      • ‘The people in China have traditional respect for scholarship and knowledge.’
      • ‘We owe it to the younger generation to pass on the vast lore, knowledge and expertise and let them know the heritage of the county.’
      • ‘The profession must recognise that it does not have a monopoly of either wisdom or knowledge.’
      • ‘Renaissance science also received added impetus from the increased transmission of knowledge between east and west.’
      • ‘These steps opened the doors to the transmission of ideas and knowledge from Europe.’
      • ‘The fact is that judgments are inevitably based on the knowledge available at the time.’
      • ‘Artists are asked to submit works that explore the importance of cultural knowledge and the wisdom of elders.’
      • ‘He does experimental and anthropological research on the transmission of cultural knowledge.’
      • ‘This anthology pairs contemporary stories with folk tales, many of which interpret natural phenomena in the light of local knowledge and lore.’
      • ‘Her grasp of scientific truth in all branches of knowledge, combined with an exceptional power of exposition, made her the most remarkable woman of her generation.’
      • ‘This would mean that an entire realm of academic knowledge would be inaccessible to students.’
      • ‘This study aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in these areas.’
      learning, erudition, scholarship, philosophy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Information held on a computer system.
      • ‘Technology has evolved; knowledge has evolved - and so has the number of computers online.’
      • ‘One goal for writing this software was to categorize knowledge for easy future retrieval by multiple users.’
      • ‘Conceptual change has huge consequences for those attempting to organize knowledge for retrieval and use.’
      • ‘The server now has enough knowledge to honor a data transfer request from the client.’
    3. 1.3Philosophy True, justified belief; certain understanding, as opposed to opinion.
      • ‘One begins the long epistemological road to true knowledge via desire.’
      • ‘So the true question of objective knowledge is: how can I know the world as it is?’
      • ‘However, we must here recognize that to Kant, consciousness, and thus, knowledge, is specific to the domain of the human being.’
      • ‘However, almost all internalists will agree that knowledge entails justified true belief.’
      • ‘As a rationalist, he believed that the only path to true knowledge was through logic.’
  • 2Awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

    ‘the programme had been developed without his knowledge’
    ‘he denied all knowledge of the incidents’
    • ‘Close friends and family reportedly knew, but his sexuality was not public knowledge.’
    • ‘People's knowledge of the fact that they are being observed may make them behave less naturally.’
    • ‘Without his knowledge, the council released CCTV footage of his actions to the media.’
    • ‘Very often they respond to an emergency call in the knowledge that they may encounter very challenging or dangerous situations.’
    • ‘One thing very important to the dying is the knowledge that they will be remembered after they are gone.’
    • ‘Then you could have spyware software running on your computer without your knowledge.’
    • ‘The thefts only came to light when one customer noticed that money had been taken from her account without her knowledge.’
    • ‘Pakistan were content to bat out for a draw on the last day, secure in the knowledge that they only had to protect their 1 - 0 lead.’
    • ‘He also says other executives committed accounting irregularities without his knowledge.’
    • ‘They thrive on risk, happy in the knowledge that the greater the risks taken then the greater the potential rewards.’
    • ‘If you've got a pension, do you feel secure in the knowledge that your money is in safe hands?’
    • ‘The infected computers can then be used to attack a Web site without their owners' knowledge.’
    • ‘Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward, including a lorry driver who may have been involved in the incident without his knowledge.’
    • ‘Without their knowledge, innocent computer users may trigger the virus by simply browsing a website.’
    • ‘We have no secrets from one another, and know that we can tell each other anything in the sure and certain knowledge that the other will respond in a loving fashion.’
    • ‘Angry residents claim a mobile phone mast was installed near their homes without their knowledge.’
    • ‘If your computer is permanently connected, the chances are that, sooner or later, an attempt will be made to access it without your knowledge.’
    • ‘He denied all knowledge of the bank robbery, but police were able to detain him on a technicality.’
    • ‘On her deathbed, she apparently signed a new will without my knowledge.’
    • ‘Banks must be more proactive in this area as a lack of public knowledge will only serve to increase consumer reluctance to go online with their bank.’
    awareness, consciousness, realization, recognition, cognition, apprehension, perception, appreciation
    View synonyms
  • 3archaic Sexual intercourse.


  • come to someone's knowledge

    • Become known to someone.

      • ‘According to police, this came to her knowledge after receiving a statement from the bank.’
      • ‘It came to my knowledge that while we had been preparing for the match, Chelsea had a meeting with representatives of Mourinho.’
      • ‘It has come to our knowledge that many properties had not been declared for property tax, undermining severely the tax collections.’
      • ‘It has come to my knowledge that a few people are indeed working on their own private projects.’
      • ‘I will not reveal any confidential information that may come to my knowledge in the course of my work.’
      • ‘If this had have come to my knowledge other than through the public domain, I would have made my inquiries and expressed my views.’
      • ‘I felt sick when I thought of all the horrible things that could have been prevented if I'd taken action when the situation had come to my knowledge.’
      • ‘The incident only came to our knowledge this month.’
      • ‘It has come to my knowledge that some of you have felt uneasy about my appointment.’
      • ‘Should any unlawful act come to our knowledge we shall immediately delete the information concerned from our website.’
  • to (the best of) someone's knowledge

    • As far as someone knows; judging from the information someone has.

      ‘the text is free of factual errors, to the best of my knowledge’
      • ‘I have no idea where these reports come from, but to my knowledge, there is absolutely nothing in it.’
      • ‘It prompted much lively discussion but, significantly, no-one, to my knowledge, disputed the basic premise.’
      • ‘To our knowledge, none of the men we treated became violent during or immediately following therapy.’
      • ‘Such a practice has not been documented any time during this period, to my knowledge.’
      • ‘Since that date, to my knowledge, no outdoor sporting facilities have been created for public use.’
      • ‘These findings were never made public to my knowledge.’
      • ‘However, to our knowledge, no published study has ever used this revised version.’
      • ‘No spokesperson for the police, to my knowledge, has ever said that they were opposed to wardens.’
      • ‘They have been camping on this site for 32 years to my knowledge and probably for many years before.’
      • ‘Looking at that list I noted that only one player, Brian Lara, has never, to my knowledge, played in the Lancashire League.’


Middle English (originally as a verb in the sense ‘acknowledge, recognize’, later as a noun): from an Old English compound based on cnāwan (see know).