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ken

Line breaks: ken
Pronunciation: /kɛn
 
/

Definition of ken in English:

noun

[in singular]
One’s range of knowledge or understanding: politics are beyond my ken
More example sentences
  • Yes, for me too it was something totally different - beyond my ken.
  • The morons do not even protect the exposed steel with paint - and something as simple and old-fashioned as using galvanized bolts in the first place is clearly way beyond their ken.
  • That was 1990, and the friend and his friends were witty and sparkly, and totally convinced me that Aucklanders were smart and sophisticated and ironic beyond my ken.
Synonyms

verb (kens, kenning; past and past participle kenned or kent)

[with object] Scottish & Northern English Back to top  
1Know: d’ye ken anyone who can boast of that?
More example sentences
  • Just when you think you ken everything there is to ken about living in Scotland, you get a rude awakening.
  • But our Ancestors kenned that some places are more lively, more powerful than other places, and this potency is explored through the medium of sacred geometry, through ley lines and stone circles.
1.1Recognize; identify: that’s him—d’ye ken him?

Origin

Old English cennan 'tell, make known', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German kennen 'know, be acquainted with', from an Indo-European root shared by can1 and know. Current senses of the verb date from Middle English; the noun from the mid 16th century.

More
  • know from (Old English):

    The ancient root of know is shared by can and ken, ‘to know’ in Scots (all Old English), and also by Latin noscere, and Greek gignōskein ‘to know’, source of words such as agnostic. To know in the biblical sense, meaning ‘to have sex with’, comes from biblical uses such as the verse in the book of Genesis: ‘And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.’ To know the ropes is to be thoroughly acquainted with the way in which something is done. The phrase comes from the days of sailing ships, when skill in handling ropes was essential for any sailor—an alternative is know their onions. The ancients valued self-knowledge as the way to wisdom—inscribed on the Greek temple of Apollo at Delphi were the words know thyself. The line ‘ It's life, Jim, but not as we know it’ is the mainstay of anyone trying to do an impression of Dr Spock from the TV series Star Trek, but he never said it in the programme. He did say that there was ‘no life as we know it’, but the quoted phrase is from the 1987 song ‘Star Trekkin'’ by the Firm. See also gnome

Words that rhyme with ken

Adrienne, again, amen, Ardennes, Behn, Ben, Benn, Bren, cayenne, Cévennes, Dairen, den, en, fen, gen, glen, Glenn, Guyenne, Gwen, hen, julienne, Karen, Len, Loren, men, Nene, Ogaden, paren, pen, Penn, Phnom Penh, Rennes, Shenzhen, Sun Yat-sen, ten, then, Tlemcen, when, wren, yen, zazen, Zen

Definition of ken in:

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Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
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