knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one's ken.
range of sight or vision.

verb (used with object), kenned or kent, ken·ning.

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).
Scots Law. to acknowledge as heir; recognize by a judicial act.
Archaic. to see; descry; recognize.
British Dialect Archaic.
  1. to declare, acknowledge, or confess (something).
  2. to teach, direct, or guide (someone).

verb (used without object), kenned or kent, ken·ning.

British Dialect.
  1. to have knowledge of something.
  2. to understand.

Origin of ken

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 confusedken kin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kent

Contemporary Examples of kent

Historical Examples of kent

British Dictionary definitions for kent



a past tense and past participle of ken




a county of SE England, on the English Channel: the first part of Great Britain to be colonized by the Romans; one of the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England until absorbed by Wessex in the 9th century ad . Apart from the Downs it is mostly low-lying and agricultural, specializing in fruit and hops. The Medway towns of Rochester and Gillingham became an independent unitary authority in 1998. Administrative centre: Maidstone. Pop (excluding Medway): 1 348 800 (2003 est). Area (excluding Medway): 3526 sq km (1361 sq miles)




William. ?1685–1748, English architect, landscape gardener, and interior designer



range of knowledge or perception (esp in the phrases beyond or in one's ken)

verb kens, kenning, kenned or kent (kɛnt)

Scot and Northern English dialect to know
Scot and Northern English dialect to understand; perceive
(tr) archaic to see

Word Origin for ken

Old English cennan; related to Old Norse kenna to perceive, Old High German kennen to make known; see can 1
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 kent


Old English, from Latin Canticum, Greek Kantion (51 B.C.E.), an ancient Celtic name often explained as "coastal district," but possibly "land of the hosts or armies." Related: Kentish.



"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.



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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper