know better

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

know better

To be aware or capable of better or smarter behavior than one has demonstrated. You know better than to talk to strangers! What were you thinking? You know better than to try to question that professor—he doesn't care what we have to say.
See also: better, know

know better (than to do something)

to be wise enough, experienced enough, or well trained enough not to have done something wrong. Mary should have known better than to accept a lift from a stranger. Children should know better than to play in the road.
See also: better, know

know better

Be able to recognize something as wrong or not possible, as in Mary should know better than to leave her child alone in the house, or Try to get in without a ticket? You know better than that. [c. 1700]
See also: better, know

know better than

be wise, well-informed, or well-mannered enough to avoid doing something specified.
1989 Anne Fine Goggle-Eyes Inspector McGee knows better than to tangle with Beth's granny.
See also: better, know

know ˈbetter (than that/than to do something)

be sensible enough not to do something: You left the car unlocked? I thought you’d know better.He knows better than to judge by appearances.
See also: better, know
References in periodicals archive ?
Jack took a swig of 'is ale an' replahd: "Aye they reckon 'e does know better.
Amyl nitrate is the only drug gay people can claim to know better than straight people," wrote journalist Karen West.
Although both Machiavelli and the Mafia counsel keeping your enemies close, veteran bureaucrats know better.
I never allowed my wife to work, never tried drugs, never indulged in heavy drinking, and have always been disappointed in mankind -- especially those who are educated and should know better.
You Know Better by Tina McElroy Ansa William Morrow & Co.
There are only two kinds of people in this world: those who are dumb enough to think there are only two kinds of people in this world, and those who are smart enough to know better.
He and Purdue graduate student Feng Bin Wang now know better.
Though it's uncertain how many people the playful porpoise has tried to, uh, get to know better, the resort's former public relations rep has revealed to us that at one point Club Med faced several lawsuits from women claiming they were victims of JoJo's unwanted affection.
While public officials extol the virtues of "consumer choice" in a free-market health-care system, large private firms know better.
It's not as if we don't know better, for themilitary has gone through this drill before.