cog·​ni·​tion | \käg-ˈni-shən \

Definition of cognition 

: cognitive mental processes A concussion impaired the patient's cognition. also : a product of these processes

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Other Words from cognition

cognitional \ käg-​ˈnish-​nəl , -​ˈni-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of cognition in a Sentence

disabilities affecting cognition and judgment

Recent Examples on the Web

Though far from the frontal lobe (language, memory, cognition, emotion), the tumor had stealthily taken over a third of my brain’s rightful space. Daphne Beal, Vogue, "After One Writer Finds Out She Has a Brain Tumor, She Confronts It Head On," 10 Aug. 2018 At the same time, many experts, developers and military leaders recognize that the certain problem-solving faculties and subjective determinations unique to human cognition - are still indispensable to decision making in war. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Pentagon makes massive new AI push for tanks, ships, weapons, drones and networks," 19 July 2018 The result: paralysis and muscle weakness; impaired cognition, speech or vision; emotional and behavioral dysfunction; and many other permanent neurological injuries. Gina Kolata, New York Times, "For Many Strokes, There’s an Effective Treatment. Why Aren’t Some Doctors Offering It?," 26 Mar. 2018 Scientists have no idea what mechanism underpins this kind of cognition. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Slime Molds Remember—But Do They Learn?," 14 July 2018 This sweeping account attempts to tell a genetic, cultural and social history, with a particular focus on the roles of cognition and agricultural and scientific advancements in our evolution. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "New in Paperback: ‘Sapiens,’ ‘Men Without Women’," 29 June 2018 The AAA Foundation commissioned Strayer, a professor of cognition and neural science at the University of Utah, to compare two aftermarket modes of communication with the ones the manufacturers install in their cars on the assembly line. Ashley Halsey Iii,, "Apple CarPlay, Android Auto safer and quicker to use than automakers' systems, according to AAA study," 28 June 2018 Linear cognition makes for great college professors. Bertrand Horwitz, WSJ, "Taking the Measure of School Admission Tests," 6 July 2018 A decade later, the period in good cognition had expanded to 14.1 years, with 3.9 years spent with mild cognitive impairment and 2.3 years spent with dementia. Judith Graham, Washington Post, "Research shows that the prevalence of dementia has fallen in the United States," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cognition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cognition

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cognition

Middle English cognicioun "comprehension, ability to comprehend," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French cognicion "knowledge, jurisdiction," borrowed from Latin cognitiōn-, cognitiō "act of getting to know, comprehension, investigation," from cogni-, variant stem of cognōscere "to get to know, acquire knowledge of, become acquainted with, investigate" (from co- co- + gnōscere, nōscere "to get to know," inchoative derivative from Indo-European *ǵneh3-, *ǵṇh3- "to know, recognize") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at know entry 1

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Statistics for cognition

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for cognition

The first known use of cognition was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for cognition



English Language Learners Definition of cognition

: conscious mental activities : the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering


cog·​ni·​tion | \käg-ˈnish-ən \

Medical Definition of cognition 

1 : cognitive mental processes

2 : a conscious intellectual act conflict between cognitions

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