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[nol-ij] /ˈnɒl ɪdʒ/
acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition:
knowledge of many things.
familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning:
A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report:
a knowledge of human nature.
the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.
awareness, as of a fact or circumstance:
He had knowledge of her good fortune.
something that is or may be known; information:
He sought knowledge of her activities.
the body of truths or facts accumulated in the course of time.
the sum of what is known:
Knowledge of the true situation is limited.
Archaic. sexual intercourse.
creating, involving, using, or disseminating special knowledge or information:
A computer expert can always find a good job in the knowledge industry.
to one's knowledge, according to the information available to one:
To my knowledge he hasn't been here before.
Origin of knowledge
1250-1300; Middle English knouleche, equivalent to know(en) to know1 + -leche, perhaps akin to Old English -lāc suffix denoting action or practice, cognate with Old Norse (-)leikr; cf. wedlock
Related forms
knowledgeless, adjective
preknowledge, noun
superknowledge, noun
1. See information. 4. understanding, discernment, comprehension; erudition, scholarship. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for knowledge
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was in the same spirit that he forbade to the Brothers the knowledge of Latin.

  • I suppose it will hold all the knowledge you will want to have put into your head for some time to come.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • What does a poet want with a knowledge of the world, in the common, sordid sense?

    Big Game Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • Fifty years ago Darwin put some knowledge into the common stock.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • "I told you just now I'm very fond of knowledge," Isabel answered.

British Dictionary definitions for knowledge


the facts, feelings or experiences known by a person or group of people
the state of knowing
awareness, consciousness, or familiarity gained by experience or learning
erudition or informed learning
specific information about a subject
sexual intercourse (obsolete except in the legal phrase carnal knowledge)
come to one's knowledge, to become known to one
to my knowledge
  1. as I understand it
  2. as I know
(Irish) grow out of one's knowledge, to behave in a presumptuous or conceited manner
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
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Word Origin and History for knowledge

early 12c., cnawlece "acknowledgment of a superior, honor, worship;" for first element see know. Second element obscure, perhaps from Scandinavian and cognate with the -lock "action, process," found in wedlock. Meaning "capacity for knowing, understanding; familiarity; fact of knowing" is late 14c. Sense of "an organized body of facts or teachings" is from c.1400, as is that of "sexual intercourse." Also a verb in Middle English, knoulechen "acknowledge" (c.1200), later "find out about; recognize," and "to have sexual intercourse with" (c.1300).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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knowledge in Technology

artificial intelligence, information science
The objects, concepts and relationships that are assumed to exist in some area of interest. A collection of knowledge, represented using some knowledge representation language is known as a knowledge base and a program for extending and/or querying a knowledge base is a knowledge-based system.
Knowledge differs from data or information in that new knowledge may be created from existing knowledge using logical inference. If information is data plus meaning then knowledge is information plus processing.
A common form of knowledge, e.g. in a Prolog program, is a collection of facts and rules about some subject.
For example, a knowledge base about a family might contain the facts that John is David's son and Tom is John's son and the rule that the son of someone's son is their grandson. From this knowledge it could infer the new fact that Tom is David's grandson.
See also Knowledge Level.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with knowledge
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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