/grok/, /grohk/ (From the novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert A. Heinlein, where it is a Martian word meaning literally "to drink" and metaphorically "to be one with")

1. To understand, usually in a global sense. Connotes intimate and exhaustive knowledge.

Contrast zen, which is similar supernal understanding experienced as a single brief flash.

See also: glark.

2. Used of programs, may connote merely sufficient understanding. "Almost all C compilers grok the "void" type these days."

(01 Jan 1995)

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