know someone in the biblical sense

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From the use of know in the Bible. Some Bible translations, such as the King James Version, translate the Hebrew word יָדַע (yādaʿ) as know even in sexual contexts, giving rise to lines like “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived.”


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know someone in the biblical sense (third-person singular simple present knows someone in the biblical sense, present participle knowing someone in the biblical sense, simple past knew someone in the biblical sense, past participle known someone in the biblical sense)

  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) To have sex with someone.
    • 1969, Ronald M. Meldrum, “Three of Henry James's Dark Ladies”, in Research Studies, volume 37, page 54:
      James may not have known women in the biblical sense; but had Adams read the novels with care, he would have been agreeably surprised by the keen insights on the feminine psyche displayed there.
    • 1980, William Wiser, Disappearances, →ISBN, page 90:
      As for Modigliani he is not a painter I know so I don't know if he knew Bianca in the biblical sense or not.
    • 1995, Lyle Leverich, Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams, →ISBN, page 456:
      Paul says there are still those who knew him, in the Biblical sense, living on the West Coast — that he was "trade" for "everybody."
    • 2007, Tom LaMarr, Hallelujah City, →ISBN, page 46:
      It only stood to reason that a woman who knew Him in a Biblical sense would have to be His bride.


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