• synonyms


verb (used with object), cog·nized, cog·niz·ing.
  1. to perceive; become conscious of; know.
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Also especially British, cog·nise.

Origin of cognize

First recorded in 1650–60; back formation from cognizance
Related formscog·niz·er, nounpre·cog·nize, verb (used with object), pre·cog·nized, pre·cog·niz·ing.un·cog·nized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cognise

Historical Examples

  • It is by the breaks, the turnings in the road that we cognise its course.

    Essays Towards a Theory of Knowledge

    Alexander Philip

  • But to cognise how great it is always requires some other magnitude as a measure.

  • I therefore ascribe this property to man as a property by means of which I cognise him.

  • So that before we can speak of bodies, we must first cognise our own.

    The Reform of Education

    Giovanni Gentile

  • Does it not seem as though, since the motions or states are all that we cognise, they should be all that we need take account of?

British Dictionary definitions for cognise



  1. (tr) to perceive, become aware of, or know
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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

Word Origin and History for cognise



1650s, back-formation from cognizance. Related: Cognized; cognizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper