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Word of the Day
Friday, October 20, 2006

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
…I only loathed myself the more, as the foul corse was borne beyond my ken, that my lot was not even as that of him who had perished in the deep waters. Julia Pardoe, The Romance of the Harem, 1839
I drew out my glass to take a nearer ken, when such beauties shot from one in particular that fired my soul and ran thrilling through every vein. Georgiana Cavendish, The Sylph, 1778
Origin of ken
Ken comes from the Old English cennan meaning "to make known, declare." It is related to the common English word "can." Today this verb is chiefly used in Scotland.