Also found in: Idioms, Wikipedia.


1. A totally ignorant person; an ignoramus.
2. An anti-intellectual.
3. An agnostic.
4. Know-Nothing A member of a political party in the United States during the 1850s that was antagonistic toward recent immigrants and Roman Catholics.

know′-noth′ing·ism n.


doctrines of the American Party (1853-1856), the main goal of which was to bar foreign-born citizens from participating in government. — know-nothing, n.
See also: Politics
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References in periodicals archive ?
And that's what we'll become if modern know-nothingism prevails.
Ignorance, self-dealing, distrust of democratic institutions, know-nothingism and racism remain dangerously potent forces in American politics.
The ups and downs of the budget based on the whims of an anti-science, know-nothingism administration are particularly harmful to the medical research field.
Their historical know-nothingism is essential to their sin, and evidence of the emptiness of their claims as citizens.
Conservatives desperate to find an agenda that appeals to base Republican voters and that is different from, and better than, the racist Know-Nothingism of Donald Trump should also consider how the geography of monopoly links up with the political map.
are doing so not out of principle, but from a mixture of know-nothingism, greed, and occasionally even an activc desire to make the planet filthier.
Intemperate men to the right will brand the new conservative a "paternalistic liberal" or "New Dealer in disguise" or "Communistic thinker"; unthinking men to the left will accuse him of stand-pattism, elitism, snobbery, predatory capitalism, isolationism, labor-baiting, anti-Semitism, Know-Nothingism, and worse.
And while no one knows who its next presidential nominee will be, if it should come down to a choice between a Chris Christie--who has some of Roosevelt's swagger and Taft's waistline, but also signs of Nixonian vindictiveness --versus the prophets of Know-Nothingism like tea party favorites Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or libertarian Rand Paul, the GOP could risk becoming irrelevant to America's future.
In other words, he argues that the truth and authority of the Torah should not be predicated on know-nothingism, ignorance or lack of scientific understanding.
Scipio Craig, an ex-school teacher in San Bernardino and the editor of Redlands Citrograph, briefly flirted with a revived "Americanism" and Know-Nothingism in 1889.
Caught between know-nothingism and a faux populism that disguises a predisposition to favor the financially powerful against the disenfranchised, the new right is born of that awful howl that rose from the convention floor in San Francisco and so startled me.
He recalled the dark days of Know-Nothingism and claimed that "some would gladly see everyone cremated who bears the Irish name.