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ken

[ken] /kɛn/
noun
1.
knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception:
an idea beyond one's ken.
2.
range of sight or vision.
verb (used with object), kenned or kent, kenning.
3.
Chiefly Scot.
  1. to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (a person or thing).
  2. to understand or perceive (an idea or situation).
4.
Scots Law. to acknowledge as heir; recognize by a judicial act.
5.
Archaic. to see; descry; recognize.
6.
British Dialect Archaic.
  1. to declare, acknowledge, or confess (something).
  2. to teach, direct, or guide (someone).
verb (used without object), kenned or kent, kenning.
7.
British Dialect.
  1. to have knowledge of something.
  2. to understand.
Origin of ken
900
before 900; Middle English kennen to make known, see, know, Old English cennan to make known, declare; cognate with Old Norse kenna, German kennen; akin to can1
Can be confused
ken, kin.

Ken

[ken] /kɛn/
noun
1.
a male given name, form of Kendall or Kenneth.

Ken.

1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ken
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Life's naked brutalities had theretofore been largely out of his ken.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • It maks my hert sair to ken 'at no guid will your hert get o' his.

    Heather and Snow George MacDonald
  • I'm thinkin we dee mair things in faith than we ken—but no eneuch!

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • For I hae seen him noo, and ken him noo—the houp o' glory in my hert and my life!

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • Ye see I ken sae muckle they ken naething aboot, or they wudna be as they are!

    Heather and Snow George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for ken

ken

/kɛn/
noun
1.
range of knowledge or perception (esp in the phrases beyond or in one's ken)
verb kens, kenning, kenned, kent (kɛnt)
2.
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) to know
3.
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) to understand; perceive
4.
(transitive) (archaic) to see
Word Origin
Old English cennan; related to Old Norse kenna to perceive, Old High German kennen to make known; see can1

Ken.

abbreviation
1.
Kentucky
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ken
v.

"to know," Scottish dialect, from Old English cennan "make known, declare, acknowledge" (in late Old English also "to know"), originally "make to know," causative of cunnan "to become acquainted with, to know" (see can (v.)). Cognate with German kennen, Danish kjende, Swedish känna. Related: Kenned; kenning.

n.2

"house where thieves meet," 1560s, vagabonds' slang, probably a shortening of kennel.

n.1

"range of sight," 1580s, a nautical abbreviation of kenning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ken

Ken

noun

A conformist, conventional man; a man lacking any but bland typical characteristics: Mr Quayle has been called a sort of Ken/ Bergin, the male villain, is reprising his role as the Ken-doll monster of Sleeping With the Enemy

[fr the male counterpart of the Barbie doll]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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7
8
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