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Word of the Day
Monday, April 16, 2018

Definitions for ken

  1. knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one's ken.
  2. range of sight or vision.
  3. Chiefly Scot. a. to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (a person or thing). b. to understand or perceive (an idea or situation).

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Citations for ken
Books, Mr. Taylor thought, should swim into one's ken mysteriously; they should appear all printed and bound, without apparent genesis; just as children are suddenly told that they have a little sister, found by mamma in the garden. Arthur Machen, The Hill of Dreams, 1907
Little things, trifles, slip out of one's ken, and one does not think it matter for surprise; but how so bulky a thing as the Seal of England can vanish away and no man be able to get track of it again--a massy golden disk ... Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper, 1881
Origin of ken
900
English ken comes from the very widespread Proto-Indo-European root gnō- (and its variants gnē-, gen-, and gṇ-) “to know.” The variant gnō- appears in Greek gignṓskein (and dialect gnṓskein), Latin gnōscere, nōscere, and Slavic (Polish) znać “to know.” The variant gnē- forms cnāwan in Old English (and know in English); the variant gṇǝ- (with suffixed schwa) yields cunnan “to know, know how to, be able” in Old English (and can “be able” in English). Ken is recorded in English before 900.