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Alternative forms[edit]


Perhaps an alteration of wis, taken from the incorrect division of iwis (which means "sure(ly), certain(ly)", from Middle English iwis, ywis ‎(sure(ly), certain(ly)), from Old English gewis ‎(certain, positive, sure)) as "I wis(s) ", which was mistaken for a verb. Perhaps from (certainly akin to) Old English witan ‎(to know). See wit.


wiss ‎(third-person singular simple present wisses, present participle wissing, simple past and past participle wissed)

  1. (archaic) To know, to understand.
    • 1652, Elias Ashmole, Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum:
      Now with their might they downe me pull, and bring me where they woll, the Blood of myne heart I wiss now causeth both Joy and blisse.
    • 1874, Dodsley et al., A Select Collection of Old English Plays:
      And though that the water be gross and heavy, yet nothing so gross as the earth, I wiss; therefore by heat it is vapoured up lightly, and in the air maketh clouds and mists.