English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English knowen, from Old English cnāwen (past participle).

Morphologically know +‎ -n.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

known (comparative better known, superlative best known)

  1. Identified as a specific type; famous, renowned.
    Antonym: unknown
    He was a known pickpocket.
  2. Accepted, familiar, researched.
    Antonym: unknown
    • 2013 July-August, Stephen P. Lownie, David M. Pelz, “Stents to Prevent Stroke”, in American Scientist:
      As we age, the major arteries of our bodies frequently become thickened with plaque, a fatty material with an oatmeal-like consistency that builds up along the inner lining of blood vessels. The reason plaque forms isn’t entirely known, but it seems to be related to high levels of cholesterol inducing an inflammatory response, which can also attract and trap more cellular debris over time.

Alternative forms edit

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Translations edit

Noun edit

known (plural knowns)

  1. Any fact or situation which is known or familiar.
    You have to tell the knowns from the unknowns.
    • 2012, Thomas Dougherty, Antibiotic Discovery and Development, volume 1, page 39:
      The biological dereplication tool may identify major knowns in a mixture, but it may miss novel minor components.
  2. (algebra) A constant or variable the value of which is already determined.

Verb edit


  1. past participle of know