Skip to search.

Definition of knowledge

World Factbook

Search Dictionary:

Houghton Mifflin

knowl·edge  audio  (nlj) KEY 

  1. The state or fact of knowing.
  2. Familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through experience or study.
  3. The sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned.
  4. Learning; erudition: teachers of great knowledge.
  5. Specific information about something.
  6. Carnal knowledge.

Middle English knoulech : knouen, to know ; see know + -leche, n. suff

knowledge, information, learning, erudition, lore1, scholarship

These nouns refer to what is known, as through study or experience. Knowledge is the broadest: "Science is organized knowledge" (Herbert Spencer). Information often implies a collection of facts and data: "A man's judgment cannot be better than the information on which he has based it" (Arthur Hays Sulzberger). Learning usually refers to knowledge gained by schooling and study: "Learning ... must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence" (Abigail Adams). Erudition implies profound, often specialized knowledge: "Some have criticized his poetry as elitist, unnecessarily impervious to readers who do not share his erudition" (Elizabeth Kastor). Lore is usually applied to knowledge gained through tradition or anecdote about a particular subject: Many American folktales concern the lore of frontier life. Scholarship is the mastery of a particular area of learning reflected in a scholar's work: A good journal article shows ample evidence of the author's scholarship.

Visit our partner's site
Provided by Houghton Mifflin
logoeReference -- Download this interactive reference software to your desktop computer