Middle English Dictionary Entry

knouen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To be aware of (sth.) as a fact; know (that sth. is true, has happened, etc.); (b) with that clause or pronoun and that clause; (c) with who, which, what, when, wher, hou, or whi clause; (d) with if or whether clause; (e) used intrans.; ~ in, ben knouinge in, to be expert, well-informed, or skillful in (a field); ppl. knouinge, well-informed, enlightened, intelligent; knouinge biforen, having foreknowledge.
(a) To perceive (sth.) with the senses; see, hear, etc.; that I kneu, that I could perceive; that he couthe ~, as far as he could see, as well as he could see; that he ~, that they can perceive; more to ~, larger to the sight; (b) to perceive (sth.) mentally or spiritually, grasp, comprehend, understand; -- also used intrans.; (c) to learn (sth.), find out, discover; ~ stomak, discover (someone's) sentiments; (d) to think of (a plan, stratagem).
(a) To be familiar with (a material thing); know (a country, path, an herb, etc.); also, become familiar with (a country); ~ nought in, have no familiarity with (arms); (b) to be familiar with (actions, thoughts, customs, someone's mind, etc.); knouinge ille, implicated in evil; -- also used intrans.; (c) to know (a language, letters, etc.); be learned in (anatomy, religion); be skilled in (a craft); (d) to know about (sth.), be informed about; ~ nought of, know nothing about (sb.); (e) to have heard of (sth.), know of anything comparable to (sth.); -- with neg.
(a) To be familiar with (sb.); also, be familiar with the writings of (sb.); also, know (sb.) from memory; (b) to know (oneself); esp. be familiar with (one's own) weaknesses and limitations; (c) to be acquainted with (sb.); know about (sb.); -- also used intrans.; (d) to have heard of (sb., a person of a certain kind); have encountered (such a person); be able to think of (such a person); -- usually with neg.; (e) ppl. knouen with, acquainted with (sb.), familiar with.
(a) To know (sb.) to be (sth.); -- with noun, adj., or phr.; ~ fals, etc.; (b) to know (sb. to do sth. or suffer sth. or abound in sth.); -- with inf. or ppl.; ~ to beren child, etc.; (c) ~ for, ~ as, to know (sb. or sth.) to be (sth.); -- with noun or adj.; ~ for thef, etc.
In phr. ~ of, to know about (sth.), be informed about; also, be aware of (sth.); also, learn or hear of (sth.); ben knouen of, be well informed about (sth.).
(a) To experience (sth.), enjoy, endure, live through; live in (a place); know of (sth.) by experience; ~ sinne, be sinful, sin; ~ stren, experience intercourse; (b) ~ of, to experience (sth.), know of (sth.) by experience.
To know how (to do sth.), know how.
(a) To recognize (a person, an animal), identify (sb.); also, identify (sb., a horse) as being of a certain kind or belonging to a certain class; refl. regain consciousness of one's own identity; ben samen knouen, recognize each other; ~ bi name, recognize (sb.) and know his name; ~ bi sighte (eie); (b) to recognize (sth.), identify; ~ for, recognize (sth.) as belonging to (sb.); ~ with eie, identify (sth.) by sight; -- also used intrans.; (c) ~ bi (of), to recognize (sb. or sth.) by (arms, speech, fruits, etc.); (d) to distinguish (persons, colors, musical notes, day and night, etc.); ~ god and ille (qued, harm), distinguish good and evil; ~ from (fro, bitwene, asonder), distinguish (one person or thing from another); ~ frend fro fo, etc.
(a) To make (sth.) known, tell or say (sth.); teach (sb. sth.); reveal (oneself), show (sth.); -- also used intrans.; (b) refl. to learn (sth.); ~ in, be learned in (a field); (c) ~ from (fro), to make known the difference between (one person or thing and another), serve to distinguish (sb. or sth.) from (sb. or sth.).
(a) To have (sth., a quality, etc.); have (branches), show (moderation), have (mercy); of a book: contain (a name); (b) to get (sth.), reach (a conclusion).
(a) To admit (that sth. is true), acknowledge (a fact); (b) ~ first-goten, to acknowledge (a son) to be the firstborn; ~ fre, acknowledge (sb.) to be free, grant (sb.) freedom; ~ cravant & overcomen, acknowledge (oneself) vanquished and overcome; ~ unworthi & idel thral, admit (oneself) to be an unworthy and useless servant; ~ for light womman, acknowledge (oneself) to be a loose woman; (c) to acknowledge (one's wickedness, error, or weakness); confess (sin); also, make confession, confess; (d) refl. to confess oneself, make confession; -- also with that clause indicating what is confessed.
(a) To acknowledge (God, Christ), worship, honor; worship (an idol); ~ god lord, acknowledge God as Lord; ~ for, acknowledge (God) as (King), acknowledge or accept (Christ) as (God, Lord, King, the Messiah); ~ of, honor or thank (God) for (gifts); ~ to, acknowledge (Christ) as (Lord, Savior); (b) to acknowledge (sb.) as a superior; honor (sb.), reverence; do homage to (a king or emperor); acknowledge or honor (a queen); ~ lord, acknowledge (sb.) as lord; ~ as, accept (sb.) as (king); ~ for, acknowledge (sb.) as (one's own, one's brother, one's lady, one's lord or king); (c) intr. to worship; ~ to, worship (God); refl. submit oneself (to God).
(a) To acknowledge (someone's name or power), honor; accept (God's words); honor (craft, learning); accept or believe in (the coming of Christ, God's punishments); (b) to acknowledge (an obligation, a debt); (c) to observe or obey (a custom); keep (a set time, a time for going down).
(a) To look upon (sb. or sth.) favorably, have regard or consideration for; be friendly toward (sb.); (b) ~ in dom, to show favoritism toward (sb.) in a court of law.
(a) To cohabit with (sb.), have sexual intercourse with (sb., someone's body); ~ fleshli; ~ togederes, have intercourse; ben knouen with, have intercourse with (sb.); (b) to have unnatural relations with (sb. or sth.).
Law To take cognizance of a lawsuit, make judicial inquiry [cp. knaw 8. in DOST].
Ppl. knouen: (a) known, not secret; knouen to (of), known to (sb., the mind); open(li knouen, knouen out, openly known; knouen & kid, revealed and known; (b) familiar, not strange; (c) known to be (a pilgrim, without fraud); known to have (certain views or purposes); knouen rightwisnes, known or obvious righteousness; (d) recognized, recognizable; (e) well-informed, learned.
Ppl. knouen: (a) of persons: well-known, famous, notorious; don ben knouen, to reveal the identity of (sb.); (b) of things, actions, a name, reputation, truth, etc.: widely known, famous, notorious; (c) of persons or things: known to be (sth.); known as (wisest); (d) of persons or things: knouen for, known, famous, or notorious as (sth.); known to be (bold, true); well-known for (buying and selling); knouen of, notorious for (deceitfulness); knouen so, well-known or famous for being (rich or powerful).
Phr. ben knouen: (a) to confess; with of phr., gen., or acc.: confess (one's sin, guilt, etc.); refl. confess oneself, make confession; (b) with of phr.: to recognize (an action) as right, approve; (c) ben knouen gilti to himself, to know himself to be implicated in evil.
Phr. maken knouen: (a) to make (sth.) known, make (sth.) known (to sb.); show (sth.); -- also used intrans.; (b) to distinguish (sth.), mark; (c) to make known the identity of (sb.), reveal.
Ppl. knouen as noun: acquaintance(s, friend(s.
In idioms, phrases, exclamations, etc.: (a) as fer as i can (ever a man mai) ~, as far as I know (one knows); fer as ye ~, to the best of your knowledge; (b) as god (wel) knoueth, as God (well) knows; (c) as (hit) is knowen, as (it) is well known; (d) as i can ~, I can assure you; as men ~, as men know, as everyone knows; as ye ~ (wel), as ~ ye, as you are well aware; as knoueth mani a man, as wel ye ~, etc.; (e) be hit knouen, knouen be hit, be it known (to all men, etc.); (f) i knoue hit wel, I know it well, I assure you; ye ~ wel, ye hit ~, ye ~ hit wel inough, ye ~ wel the soth, you know very well, you are well aware; and that thou knouest wel, most assuredly; (g) god knoueth (knouinge), God knows!; god knoueth hou, God knows how; lord god thou knouest, that knoueth oure lord (jesus), etc.; (h) hit is to ben knouen, we or you ought to know; hit is knouen, it is known (that, etc.); hit is knouen to you of, you know about (sth.); (i) if ye kneuen, if you knew, ?if only you knew; (j) knoue hit if him like, let him know (?admit) it if he will; (k) the soth to (forto) ~, to know the truth, to tell you the truth.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450 Alph.Tales (Add 25719)181/23 : He mot know no suspecion of þifte.
  • Note: I cannot find anything quite like this - 4.(b) ~ of, to experience (sth) may be the closest, but there should prob. be an added gl. to cover this quot.--per MJW.
  • c1225(?c1200) St.Juliana (Bod 34)13/139 : Ne ich nes neuer þet ich wite ʒet wið him icnawen.
  • Note: Antedates 3b.(e)
  • c1450(c1415) Roy.Serm.(Roy 18.B.23)233/7 : Euery man may be knawon by is langage.
  • Note: Additional quote(s)
  • c1450(c1400) Tundale (Clg A.2)1952 : The syʒte…of þe Trinite Make hem so ioyefull to be, Tho þat may come in her ryʒte Shall be kowen [read: vnknowen] þorow þat syʒte Of all þat þey in þe worlde dede [L omnium immemor preteritorum].
  • Note: New spelling
  • (1405) RParl.3.605a : Be hit knawen til all men that we, Henry Percy…has constitute and assigned Sir Henry Boynton, [etc.].
  • ?a1425 Mandev.(2) (Eg 1982)2/3 : So þat it might be knawen to men.
  • Note: The construction (which is quite idiomatic in MnE) does not seem to be noted anywhere in the entry. Would prob. belong under 7. somewhere.--per MJW.
    Note: let it be made known to all men that = let all men know that
    Note: impers. be hit knouen til…that
  • c1450 *Bk.Marchalsi (Hrl 6398)4b : Men shal don hym [horse] to knowe þe spore in his ʒouþe.
  • Note: Additional quote(s)
    Note: ?NS
  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(1) (Pen 356B)4/137 : A property by þe wech me knos wedyr a pronowne be of vncertayne person, as ille.
  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(1) (Pen 356B)5/204 : How knos þu a verbe neuter?
  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(1) (Pen 356B)6/256 : How knos þu a partycypull of þe futur tens in -rus?
  • Note: New spelling