Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


Consciously; willfully; subject to complete understanding of the facts or circumstances.

According to provisions contained in the Model Penal Code, an individual is deemed to have acted knowingly in regard to a material element of an offense when: in the event that such element involves the nature of his or her conduct or the circumstances attendant thereto, he or she is aware that the conduct is of such nature or that those circumstances exist; if the element relates to a result of the person's conduct, he or she is conscious of the fact that it is substantially certain that the conduct will precipitate such a result.

When the term knowingly is used in an indictment, it signifies that the defendant knew what he or she was going to do and, subject to such knowledge, engaged in the act for which he or she was charged.


adverb advisedly, deliberately, intentionally, learnedly, pointedly, purposefully, with knowledge, wittingly
Associated concepts: knowingly and willfully, knowingly permit, knowingly suffer
See also: purposely

KNOWINGLY, pleadings. The word knowingly," or "well knowing," will supply the place of a positive averment in an indictment or declaration, that the defendant knew the facts subsequently stated; if notice or knowledge be unnecessarily stated, the allegation may be rejected as surplusage. Vide Com. Dig. Indictment, G 6; 2 Stra. 904; 2 East, 452; 1 Chit. Pl. *367; Vide Scienter.

References in classic literature ?
And yet to ruin any one," cries the other, "you will allow, is the act of an enemy; and when by the same act you must knowingly and certainly bring ruin on yourself, is it not folly or madness, as well as guilt?
This image is vague so long as the multiplicity of its prototypes is not recognized, but becomes universal when it exists alongside of the more specific images of its instances, and is knowingly contrasted with them.
I AM rather free about women, he had often said, smiling and nodding knowingly to Stubble and Spooney, and other comrades of the mess- table; and they rather respected him than otherwise for this prowess.
And I can't and won't knowingly make a pretense about it.
Grewgious, who had all this time very knowingly felt his way round to action on his remembrance of what she had said of Jasper himself: 'because she seems to have some little delicate instinct that all preliminary arrangements had best be made between Mr.
He was of too good a stock and too well trained, knowingly to turn the weak side to man or beast
As Doctor Crocus says these latter words, he shakes his head, knowingly, and laughs again.
Tom said this with one eye shut up again, and looking over his glass knowingly, at his entertainer.
It is very knowingly done indeed, and seems to have taken YOU in completely.
Mr Venus knowingly cocked his shock of hair, as rather thinking Mr Wegg had remembered himself, in respect of appearing without any disguise.
and it is very unhappy it is so, especially in the case before us, as I shall show afterwards), yet there are some general principles in which we both agree--that there is a God; and that this God having given us some stated general rules for our service and obedience, we ought not willingly and knowingly to offend Him, either by neglecting to do what He has commanded, or by doing what He has expressly forbidden.
They dress their boxes up with banner headlines about vitamins and wholegrains to make us believe they're the best way to start your day, but the print that's too tiny to read hides the unpalatable truth that most cereals aimed at kids contain knowingly irresponsible levels of sugar.