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

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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 Better understanding of canine cognition means better training for service dogs. Daniel Dorsa, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs," 17 Nov. 2020 Excess deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, known as Lewy bodies, clump up inside neurons, causing damage to certain parts of the brain and, as a result, a decline in cognition and movement. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "What is Lewy body dementia, the disease Robin Williams' widow called 'the terrorist' inside his brain?," 2 Sep. 2020 According to Ash Nadkami, a psychiatrist and instructor at Harvard Medical School, puzzles have been found to improve visuospatial cognition (for example, depth and distance perception and detecting patterns). Ashley Abramson, Allure, "19 of the Best Puzzles to Keep You Busy Inside This Winter," 13 Dec. 2020 Other studies have since backed up the finding that pulsed RF can have wide-ranging effects on the nervous systems of animals and humans, including negative effects on cognition. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US diplomats’ brain injuries may be from covert microwave attack, experts say," 10 Dec. 2020 Stacho and Nieder add that the building blocks for mammalian and avian cognition may have been present in their last common ancestor, some 320 million years ago. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Newfound brain structure explains why some birds are so smart—and maybe even self-aware," 24 Sep. 2020 In the absence of gravity, the human body can experience changes in vision, cognition and fine motor skills as well as muscle and bone loss. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Humans have been living on the space station for 20 years," 2 Nov. 2020 It’s not an emergency, but her cognition is declining. The Atlantic, "Listen: How to Cancel Thanksgiving," 20 Nov. 2020 There’s more feeling, there’s more cognition, there’s more intellect, there’s more emotion. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "At age 75, Minnesota guitar hero Leo Kottke releases a new album with Phish bassist," 19 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for cognition

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cognition

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cognition


How to pronounce cognition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cognition

technical : 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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