adjective cog·ni·zant \ ˈkäg-nə-zənt \
|Updated on: 19 Jul 2018

Definition of cognizant

: knowledgeable of something especially through personal experience; also : mindful
  • cognizant of the potential dangers

Examples of cognizant in a Sentence

  1. Not like some college kid beaming in blissful ignorance, but rather like a worldly 23-year-old, self-aware and fully cognizant of the dire straits he's entering. —Jody BergerESPN14 June 1999
  2. … the idea of a machine cognizant of that human Achilles' heel, emotion, can conjure more sinister images—like HAL, the savvy, menacing computer in "2001," whose fear that he would be unplugged led him to kill all but one of the crew members on a space mission. —Daniel GolemanNew York Times7 Jan. 1997
  3. … to assure you that I am neither privy to, nor cognizant of, any such clique; and that I most potently disbelieve in the existence of any such. —Abraham Lincolnletter13 Oct. 1849
  4. He is cognizant of his duties as a father.

  5. not fully cognizant of the details of the trade agreement

Recent Examples of cognizant from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of cognizant

Synonym Discussion of cognizant

aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something. aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences.
    • aware of changes in climate
cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources.
    • not fully cognizant of the facts
conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it.
    • conscious that my heart was pounding
sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities.
    • sensible of a teacher's influence
alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something.
    • alive to the thrill of danger
awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert.
    • a country always awake to the threat of invasion

COGNIZANT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of cognizant for English Language Learners

  • : aware of something

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cognizant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


very hard to disturb or upset

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!