knack

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n knack a special way of doing something "he had a bent for it","he had a special knack for getting into trouble","he couldn't get the hang of it"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Knack A petty contrivance; a toy; a plaything; a knickknack. "A knack , a toy, a trick, a baby's cap."
    • Knack A readiness in performance; aptness at doing a specific task; skill; aptitude; facility; dexterity; -- often used with for; as, a knack for playing the guitar. "The fellow . . . has not the knack with his shears.""The dean was famous in his time,
      And had a kind of knack at rhyme."
    • Knack Something performed, or to be done, requiring aptness and dexterity; a trick; a device. "The knacks of japers.""For how should equal colors do the knack !"
    • Knack To crack; to make a sharp, abrupt noise to chink.
    • Knack To speak affectedly.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • knack To crack, make a sharp abrupt noise; specifically, to gnash the teeth; make a champing sound.
    • knack To speak affectedly or mincingly.
    • knack To talk in a lively manner; narrate.
    • knack To cause, to sound.
    • knack To sneer; taunt; mock.
    • n knack A crack or snap; a sharp sound; a snap with the finger or finger-nail.
    • n knack A dexterous exploit; a trick; a device; a mockery; a repartee.
    • n knack Readiness; habitual facility of performance; dexterity; adroitness.
    • n knack An ingenious trifle; a toy; a knickknack.
    • n knack A kind of figure made of a small quantity of corn at the end of the harvest, and carried in the harvest-home procession. Synonyms Facility, Expertness, etc. See readiness.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Knack nak a petty contrivance: a toy: a nice trick: dexterity, adroitness
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Quotations

  • Josh Billings
    Josh%20Billings
    “Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.”
  • Reggie Jackson
    Reggie Jackson
    “The greatest manager has a knack for making ballplayers think they are better than they think they are.”
  • Max Frisch
    Max Frisch
    “Technology... the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Prob. of imitative origin; cf. G. knacken, to break, Dan. knage, to crack, and E. knock,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Orig. imit.; cf. Gael. cnac, Dut. knak, a crack, Ger. knacken, to crack.

Usage

In literature:

Confine yourself to knick-knacks, that's all.
"Truxton King" by George Barr McCutcheon
But he emphatically made an exception of Scott, who had an uncanny knack of hitting upon a solution.
"The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2" by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
Should you display the least talent for that we may see later if you've any knack with a putty knife.
"Somewhere in Red Gap" by Harry Leon Wilson
Slim, fat, chiefs or commoners, all learn this knack in infancy.
"White Shadows in the South Seas" by Frederick O'Brien
There were flowers blooming in the centre of the tea-table, and little knick-knacks lay strewed about.
"The Doctor's Dilemma" by Hesba Stretton
A knack he had when stirred out of himself.
"The Story of the Foss River Ranch" by Ridgwell Cullum
Undismayed, my sister collected her knick-knacks and rushed into the waiting-room, which was quite empty.
"Norse Tales and Sketches" by Alexander Lange Kielland
The extent to which the knack of looking after animals and a liking for them can be developed is an interesting question.
"The Foundations of Japan" by J.W. Robertson Scott
There is a knack in doing things.
"Around The Tea-Table" by T. De Witt Talmage
After one or two trials, the knack of soap-making is easily caught.
"The Art of Travel" by Francis Galton
His "knack of hoping," however, helped him through life.
"An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800" by Mary Frances Cusack
The girls interviewed said they did not feel this as a strain, as there was a knack in doing it easily.
"Making Both Ends Meet" by Sue Ainslie Clark and Edith Wyatt
He had a knack of knowing when to appear and when to efface himself.
"Red Pottage" by Mary Cholmondeley
There's a sort of knack to that.
"The Brimming Cup" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
I found that I had the knack of writing pleasant little artificial comedies.
"The Jervaise Comedy" by J. D. Beresford
He always had an unhappy knack of blurting out the truth in season and out of season.
"Cecilia de Noël" by Lanoe Falconer
The lad has a wonderful knack, and can copy anything he has a chance to examine.
"The Narrative of Gordon Sellar Who Emigrated to Canada in 1825" by Gordon Sellar
Contentment is merely the knack of not wanting the things we know we can't have.
"More Toasts"
Her two weeks at the academy had proved that it wasn't a knack that she could pick up casually.
"The Real Adventure" by Henry Kitchell Webster
Disraeli's voice was by nature deep, and he had a knack of deepening it when he wished to be impressive.
"Prime Ministers and Some Others" by George W. E. Russell
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In poetry:

But still her talent went to waste
Like flotsam on an open sea;
She never hit the public taste,
Or knew the knack of Bellettrie.
"A Ballad Of A Bun" by Sir Owen Seaman
"'Twere harsh my uncles' forging knack
Too rudely to condemn -
My aunts, repentant, may come back,
And blacks are nothing like as black
As people colour them!"
"A Worm Will Turn" by William Schwenck Gilbert
The wind carries them where they want to go.
Yet it seems cruel to strangers passing there.
It always comes, and when it comes they know
The knack is this, to fasten and not let go.
"Women In Love" by Donald Justice
From the Queen's Hall to-night there's a feast of delight,
On this orchestra there's no improving.
Sir Tom's got the knack, he won't let the band slack
You can bet Beecham makes 'em keep moving!
"The Broadcaster" by Billy Bennett
"Yes, I've a youth, the most acute,
Who will the Queen exactly suit--
My Chaplain. He the knack has got
To please my wife's ear to a jot;
And all this with surprizing ease;
Then surely he the Queen's can please."
"Preferment" by William Hutton
An' though this style me soul 'as often vext,
Wiv care an' pains the knack is easy cort;
This line's rhymed wiv the first, an' then the next
Is cut orf short.
An' if yeh want to round it orf orl neat
Just add a couplet 'ere of equil feet.
"A Guide for Poits" by C J Dennis

In news:

Geoff Allen has the knack for seeing the next big thing around the corner.
Knick knack paddy whack dog.
Dog has a knack for knowing when people need help.
Washington's Knack for Picking Losers.
Nick's knack for trouble is his own fault.
Oregon copter pilot has knack for finding the lost.
Frampton, Knack heir both sue over digital coin.
Luleen Anderson, Author of "The Knack of a Happy Life".
Lawton's Maurice Chandler has knack for interceptions.
Turner's Knack for Getting Plunked.
Doug Linkhart a "neighborhood guy" with knack for outreach.
Spurs have a knack for comebacks.
Wilson suddenly shows knack for getting Predators started.
Morrow graduate McDonald has knack for coaching football.
I am so sorry to say that my friend and great singer from the Knack Doug Fieger on Feb 14th lost his extremely valiant battle with a very aggressive cancer.
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In science:

More generally, one expects that some form of new physics beyond that Model will start to unravel at the LHC, such as supersymmetry but possibly something we actually never thought of since Mother Nature has this supreme knack for always outwitting us for She seems to never be using the same trick twice.
A Pedestrian Introduction to the Mathematical Concepts of Quantum Physics
Silicates were first detected in emission in M stars (Woolf & Ney 1969; Knacke et al. 1969a).
Interstellar Grains -- The 75th Anniversary
Articles with a truly extraordinary knack of grabbing citations are the authorities of the citation network.
The skewness of computer science
Naur quotes Polya: "start with concrete examples and then get the knack of it." (Naur[2011], p. 92).
Adding Methodological Testing to Naur's Anti-formalism
Ground-based spectroscopy of the β Pic system in the 10 µm atmospheric window seemed to suggest a high degree of similarity of the dust seen in this system to that in comets (Telesco & Knacke 1991; Knacke et al. 1993).
ISO Observations of Pre-Main Sequence and Vega-type Stars
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