= G =
grok /grok/, var. /grok/ vt.
[common; 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'] The emphatic form is `grok in
fullness'. 1. To understand. Connotes intimate and exhaustive
knowledge. When you claim to `grok' some knowledge or technique,
you are asserting that you have not merely learned it in a detached
instrumental way but that it has become part of you, part of your
identity. For example, to say that you "know" LISP is simply to
assert that you can code in it if necessary - but to say you
"grok" LISP is to claim that you have deeply entered the
world-view and spirit of the language, with the implication that it
has transformed your view of programming. 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."
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.