cog·​ni·​tion | \ käg-ˈni-shən How to pronounce cognition (audio) \

Definition of cognition

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

Other Words from cognition

cognitional \ käg-​ˈnish-​nəl How to pronounce cognition (audio) , -​ˈni-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of cognition in a Sentence

disabilities affecting cognition and judgment
Recent Examples on the Web Loneliness has been linked to reductions in health, well-being and cognition -- but living alone does not always mean being lonely. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 12 Jan. 2022 Changes in personality or cognition including memory loss. Korin Miller,, 7 Dec. 2021 Prepare for nightmares, crying, anxiety, low energy, breathlessness, awful short-term memory, poor cognition, etc., etc. Christopher Stolarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 Nov. 2021 Perception and cognition are like a piano sonata; the notes must sound in a particular order for the harmonies to work. Adam Rogers, Wired, 24 Nov. 2021 But researchers don't know what these brain changes might mean for people's health and cognition. ABC News, 7 Nov. 2021 Many people live in homes with bad indoor air quality, which affects respiratory issues, mood, cognition and behavior. Forbes Biz Council Expert Panel, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 Physicians examined the embassy patients using a range of tests to measure hearing, balance and cognition. Robert Baloh, The Conversation, 30 Sep. 2021 Julie Guy from The Music Therapy Center of California explained music therapy’s three areas of focus: cognition, speech and motor skills. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Aug. 2021

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

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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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 How to pronounce cognition (audio) \

Medical Definition of cognition

1 : cognitive mental processes
2 : a conscious intellectual act conflict between cognitions


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