Meaning of know-nothing


Pronunciation: (nō'nuth"ing), [key]
— n.
  1. an ignorant or totally uninformed person; ignoramus.
  2. an agnostic.
  3. (caps.)a member of a political partyprominent from 1853 to 1856, whose aim was to keep control of the government in the hands of native-born citizens: so called because members originally professed ignorance of the party's activities.
  4. a person whose anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, and other political attitudes recall the Know-Nothings.
  1. grossly ignorant; totally uninformed.
  2. agnostic.
  3. (caps.) of or pertaining to the Know-Nothings.
  4. of or pertaining to a political know-nothing.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.