Definition of knowingly in US English:



  • 1In a way that suggests one has secret knowledge or awareness.

    ‘Amy looked at me knowingly’
    • ‘Everyone laughed and nodded knowingly as Crystal joked about offending her roommate with her stinky jars of Asian food.’
    • ‘"I don't want to be shattered," he says, smiling knowingly.’
    • ‘The two men laughed and looked knowingly at each other, then disappeared around the corner.’
    • ‘"I think you'll like him," he added knowingly.’
    • ‘But he smiled knowingly and disappeared briefly, returning to say they were expected.’
    • ‘Then, any time the person looks at you after that, smile knowingly or wink at them.’
    • ‘Cecil, meanwhile, became bolder with every minute, and looked at Gus, knowingly.’
    • ‘Focused on the game, Mortlock wondered what his rival was about and seeing nothing but an expression of boyish anticipation, he smiled knowingly.’
    • ‘Her eyes glance knowingly at the little computer and then back to us.’
    • ‘She nods knowingly at the woman's frustration, vowing to stop by the coffee shop the next time she's in Farmington.’
    • ‘The Hitchhiker smiled knowingly.’
    • ‘His mother smiles knowingly at his typically honest assessment.’
    • ‘The mushroom cloud exploded over Aspen and lingered for the following 24 hours or so, as we all just scratched our heads and nodded knowingly to each other.’
    • ‘And you would love to be the one to help, he thought knowingly, smiling and rising.’
    • ‘He toys knowingly with the historical resonances and ontological possibilities of film, a perennial concern of French cinema and French film theory.’
    deliberately, intentionally, consciously, wittingly, with full knowledge, in full awareness, with one's eyes open, on purpose, by design, calculatedly, premeditatedly, studiedly, wilfully, purposefully, willingly
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  • 2In full awareness or consciousness; deliberately.

    ‘when a journalist knowingly misleads the readers’
    • ‘I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.’
    • ‘She said she had never knowingly touched the incident log.’
    • ‘Whether the government of the day knowingly suppressed the evidence is a matter for tabloid debate.’
    • ‘You have to prove that an employer knowingly hired them.’
    • ‘He was blunt but did not hurt anyone's feelings knowingly.’
    • ‘He appears to have been the kind of performer who would never knowingly reject an offer of employment or disappoint a paying audience.’
    • ‘They include on the spot fines for any pub, club or member of their bar staff knowingly serving alcohol to someone who is already drunk.’
    • ‘The bill also introduces a new power to obtain search warrants when an offence of knowingly possessing objectionable material is suspected.’
    • ‘In fact, one of the settlers knowingly built a house on a surveyed roadway.’
    • ‘You should never knowingly consent to your own interview or conversation being tape-recorded without making a tape of your own.’
    • ‘However, we will not knowingly list any business that engages in illegal or immoral activity of any kind.’
    • ‘I know it is wrong to knowingly cause pain to others.’
    • ‘Here we can see how celebrities, whether knowingly or not, can easily exploit the weaknesses of small impoverished states.’
    • ‘The evaluator is kept blind to the controls to prevent him or her from subtly tipping off the subject, either knowingly or unknowingly.’
    • ‘This blurring of motives and roles is even more the case when the photographer is knowingly involved in the atrocities.’
    • ‘Only a fool, weight enforcement officers say, knowingly drives an overweight truck into a weigh station.’
    • ‘The swearing of an untrue affidavit of documents is perhaps the most obvious example of conduct which his solicitor cannot knowingly permit.’
    • ‘The author refers to a conflict of which he either has little understanding, or knowingly distorts the truth.’
    • ‘And this overextension of projects was knowingly incorporated into the plan.’
    • ‘But even if he knowingly told a falsehood simply to get more credibility, that would be serious professional misconduct.’