1. Possessing knowledge, information, or understanding: very knowing about transportation costs.
2. Showing clever awareness and resourcefulness; shrewd and worldly: "Even so knowing a young ruffian as William Chaloner would have had no preparation for the shock of London" (Thomas Levenson).
3. Suggestive of secret or private knowledge: a knowing glance.
4. Deliberate; conscious: a knowing attempt to defraud.
5. Archaic Fashionable; stylish: "Many young men ... drove about town in very knowing gigs" (Jane Austen).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.