Definition of cognizance in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒ(ɡ)nɪz(ə)ns/
(also cognisance)


1 [mass noun] formal Knowledge or awareness: the Renaissance cognizance of Greece was limited
More example sentences
  • The famous statement ‘unity of empty cognizance suffused with awareness’ refers to your own nature, the essence of your mind.
  • All of the lofty transcendental concepts that are in the higher worlds are meant to become a part of our experience and cognizance.
  • The smokers in the room were most appreciative of her cognisance of their plight!
awareness, notice, knowledge, consciousness, apprehension, perception, realization, recognition, appreciation
1.1 Law The action of taking judicial notice.
Example sentences
  • Most international human rights instruments subsequently adopted by the United Nations have a basis in the Universal Declaration and give further definition and cognisance to those rights.
  • The law takes no cognisance of carelessness in the abstract.
  • It is bound, of course, to give cognisance to the fact of the order that is being enforced.
2 Heraldry A distinctive emblem or badge formerly worn by retainers of a noble house.


take cognizance of

formal Attend to; take account of: the new structure attempted to take cognizance of individual regions' needs
More example sentences
  • Supposing you are currently an important participant in a vital endeavour, you may gain a lot by taking cognisance of what is uttered by those on the sidelines.
  • That being so, the church now formally takes cognizance of what they have been doing, and thus of what they are.
  • The employer needs to take cognisance of whether the goods are new, secondhand, manufactured by the employer or transferred at a discounted price.


Middle English conisance, from Old French conoisance, based on Latin cognoscere 'get to know'. The spelling with g, influenced by Latin, arose in the 15th century and gradually affected the pronunciation.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cog¦ni|zance

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