The Etymology of 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).

“The existence of this latent knowledge is further proved by the interrogation of one of Meno’s slaves, who, in the skilful hands of Socrates, is made to acknowledge some elementary relations of geometrical figures”. Meno by Plato

“However we may increase our knowledge of the conditions of space in which man is situated, that knowledge can never be complete, for the number of those conditions is as infinite as the infinity of space”. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

“It has been asserted that a power of internal taxation in the national legislature could never be exercised with advantage, as well from the want of a sufficient knowledge of local circumstances, as from an interference between the revenue laws of the Union and of the particular States”. The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton

Common uses:

The first term of the course is largely devoted to ensuring that all students possess adequate background knowledge of computing techniques and programming practice.

We give our clients the ability to update their own web sites without needing any technical knowledge.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=knowledge&searchmode=none

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/_/search/Search.aspx?By=0&SearchBy=4&q=knowledge

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1 Comment

  1. Be sure to add your own ideas in every post. Do you agree with the definition? What strikes you as strange or different than you expected? Best use of the word?

    RUBRIC
    gives some new information on the topic; informational post: has trouble with integrating read or learned information and mostly repeats without construction of new meaning; poorly organized
    post has little style or voice; words chosen show an attempt at bringing the content to life; sentence fluency is achieved in few places
    several spelling errors; several grammar errors; formatting makes post difficult to follow or read
    one piece of multimedia; multimedia does not add significantly to content or perspective; one or more links to obvious websites (Wikipedia, dictionary on line); post may be categorized or tagged
    a few information sources are cited accurately; uses citations for images improperly

    Reply

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