1

ken

play
verb \ˈken\

Definition of ken

kenned

kenning

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  see

  3. 2 chiefly dialect :  recognize

  4. 3 chiefly Scottish :  know

  5. intransitive verb
  6. chiefly Scottish :  know

Origin and Etymology of ken

Middle English kennen, from Old English cennan to make known & Old Norse kenna to perceive; both akin to Old English can know — more at can


First Known Use: 13th century


2

ken

noun

Definition of ken

  1. 1 a :  the range of vision b :  sight, view <'tis double death to drown in ken of shore — Shakespeare>

  2. 2 :  the range of perception, understanding, or knowledge <abstract words that are beyond the ken of young children — Lois M. Rettie>

Did You Know?

Ken appeared on the English horizon in the 16th century as a term of measurement of the distance bounding the range of ordinary vision at sea—about 20 miles. British author John Lyly used that sense in 1580 when he wrote, "They are safely come within a ken of Dover." Other 16th-century writers used ken to mean "range of vision" ("Out of ken we were ere the Countesse came from the feast." — Thomas Nashe) or "sight" ("'Tis double death to drown in ken of shore." — Shakespeare). Today, however, ken rarely suggests literal sight. Rather, ken nowadays almost always implies a range of perception, understanding, or knowledge.

1590

First Known Use of ken

1590



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