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From know +‎ -ing.



knowing (comparative more knowing, superlative most knowing)

  1. Possessing knowledge or understanding; knowledgeable, intelligent. [from 14th c.]
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, 6th edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, →OCLC:
      The knowing and intelligent part of the world.
  2. Deliberate, wilful. [from 16th c.]
  3. Shrewd or showing clever awareness; discerning. [from 17th c.]
    a knowing rascal
  4. Demonstrating knowledge of what is in fashion; stylish, chic. [from 18th c.]
    • 1792, Charlotte Smith, Desmond, Broadview, published 2001, page 173:
      ‘I was a raw boy from College, and fancied it very knowing to marry a girl that all the young fellows of my acquaintance reckoned so confounded handsome.’
  5. The ability to know something without being taught.
  6. Suggestive of private knowledge or understanding. [from 19th c.]
    • 2017 July 30, Ali Barthwell, “Ice and fire finally meet in a front-loaded episode of Game Of Thrones (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Jon and Tyrion greet each other with the words that have been used against them as weapons, sharing a knowing smile.

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  1. Given my knowledge about someone or something.
    Knowing you, you would try not to be late for school.



  1. present participle and gerund of know

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knowing (plural knowings)

  1. The act or condition of having knowledge.
    • 2009, Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (60th Anniversary Edition, 1949, page 194)
      Sensations then, are not perceivings, observings or findings; they are not detectings, scannings or inspectings; they are not apprehendings, cognisings, intuitings or knowings.