1. a special skill, talent, or aptitude: He had a knack for saying the right thing.
  2. a clever or adroit way of doing something.
  3. a trick or ruse.
  4. a sharp, cracking sound.
  5. Archaic. a knickknack; trinket.


  1. a skilful, ingenious, or resourceful way of doing something
  2. a particular talent or aptitude, esp an intuitive one

mid-14c., “deception, trick, device,” of uncertain origin, probably from a Low German word meaning “a sharp sounding blow” (cf. Middle English knak, late 14c.; German knacken “to crack”), of imitative origin. Sense of “special skill” is first recorded 1580s, if this is in fact the same word.

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