follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

know-nothing

[noh-nuhth-ing] /ˈnoʊˌnʌθ ɪŋ/
noun
1.
an ignorant or totally uninformed person; ignoramus.
2.
an agnostic.
3.
(initial capital letters) U.S. History. a member of a political party (American party or Know-Nothing party) prominent from 1853 to 1856, whose aim was to keep control of the government in the hands of native-born citizens: so called because members originally professed ignorance of the party's activities.
4.
a person whose anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, and other political attitudes recall the Know-Nothings.
adjective
5.
grossly ignorant; totally uninformed.
6.
7.
(initial capital letters) of or relating to the Know-Nothings.
8.
of or relating to a political know-nothing.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25
Related forms
know-nothingism, noun

American party

noun
1.
See under know-nothing (def 3).
Also called Know-Nothing party.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for know-nothing party

know-nothing

noun
1.
(informal, derogatory) an ignorant person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for know-nothing party

know-nothing

n.

"ignoramus," 1827, from know + nothing. As a U.S. nativist political party, active 1853-56, the name refers to the secret society at the core of the party, about which members were instructed to answer, if asked about it, that they "know nothing." The party eventually merged into the Republican Party.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for know-nothing

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for know

11
12
Scrabble Words With Friends