cog·​ni·​zance | \ ˈkäg-nə-zən(t)s How to pronounce cognizance (audio) \

Definition of cognizance

1 : a distinguishing mark or emblem (such as a heraldic bearing)
2a : knowledge, awareness had no cognizance of the situation
b : notice, acknowledgment take cognizance of their achievement

Examples of cognizance in a Sentence

They seemed to have no cognizance of the crime. take cognizance of what is happening
Recent Examples on the Web According to Deloitte’s Principal & Chief Inclusion Officer Dr. Terri Cooper, leadership traits to strive for are: commitment, courage, cognizance of bias, curiosity, cultural intelligence and collaboration. Julia Wuench, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Though there wasn't exactly an apology in Moreno's statement, the tweets do include her cognizance of the Afro-Latinx community's valid feelings on the matter at hand. Ineye Komonibo,, 17 June 2021 And equity is, essentially, the cognizance of every individual’s uniqueness and needs by promoting justice and impartiality within the practices, processes and systematic distribution of resources. Madhukar Govindaraju, Forbes, 1 June 2021 The Defense Department announced the establishment of a UFO task force in August, saying the group would be led by the Navy under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, 16 Apr. 2021 Morrison is the first pop artist to show cognizance of COVID reality. Armond White, National Review, 2 Dec. 2020 Still, an inchoate anxiety lurked behind the mania, a fleeting cognizance that for all their demands of more, nothing could ever match this. Elaina Plott, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2020 And seemingly no cognizance that on that very day, fires were consuming vast swaths of California and Oregon. Star Tribune, 18 Sep. 2020 Here in Chicago, the mayor had to put fencing up at Montrose Beach after a crowd of overzealous disease vectors held a weekend party that didn’t appear to include masks, social distancing or cognizance of a pandemic. Rex Huppke,, 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cognizance.' 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 cognizance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cognizance

Middle English cognisaunce, latinization (after cognōscere and its derivatives) of conissaunce, conoisance "knowledge, understanding, distinguishing mark (as on a shield)," borrowed from Anglo-French conoisance, conisance, from conisant, conoissant "aware, mindful" (from present participle of conoistre "to know, be aware of," going back to Latin cognōscere "to get to know, acquire knowledge of") + -ance -ance — more at cognition

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The first known use of cognizance was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cognizance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of cognizance

: knowledge or awareness of something


cog·​ni·​zance | \ ˈkäg-nə-zəns How to pronounce cognizance (audio) \

Legal Definition of cognizance

History and Etymology for cognizance

Old French connoissance right to acknowledge and adjudicate issues, literally, knowledge, acquaintance, from connoistre to be acquainted with


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