1. The act or state of knowing; clear perception of fact, truth, or duty; certain apprehension; familiar cognizance; cognition. Knowledge, which is the highest degree of the speculative faculties, consists in the perception of the truth of affirmative or negative propositions. (Locke)
2. That which is or may be known; the object of an act of knowing; a cognition; chiefly used in the plural. There is a great difference in the delivery of the mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges. (bacon) Knowledges is a term in frequent use by bacon, and, though now obsolete, should be revived, as without it we are compelled to borrow cognitions to express its import. (Sir W. Hamilton) To use a word of Bacon's, now unfortunately obsolete, we must determine the relative value of knowledges. (H. Spencer)
3. That which is gained and preserved by knowing; instruction; acquaintance; enlightenment; learning; scholarship; erudition. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. (1 cor. Viii. 1) Ignorance is the curse of God; - knowledge, the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. (Shak)
Synonym: see Wisdom.
Origin: oe. Knowlage, knowlege, knowleche, knawleche. The last part is the Icel. Suffix -leikr, forming abstract nouns, orig. The same as Icel 417 . Leikr game, play, sport, akin to as. Lac, goth. Laiks dance. See know, and cf. Lake, lark a frolic.