Definition of cognizance in English:


(also cognisance)


  • 1formal [mass noun] Knowledge or awareness:

    ‘the Renaissance cognizance of Greece was limited’
    • ‘This is the thing about Grandpa: he flutters between cognizance and an alternate reality.’
    • ‘The smokers in the room were most appreciative of her cognisance of their plight!’
    • ‘Cognizance of the impact of these experiences on professional development may help the supervisor to be more sensitive to these issues as they arise.’
    • ‘I was drifting in and out of consciousness, but in one of my moments of cognisance I awoke to find a doctor leaning over me, checking my pulse.’
    • ‘I think some cognisance has to be given to the fact that the guns are silent,’ he concluded.’
    • ‘As you get older, it gets shakier to assume cognizance on points of popular culture, but there are some things that people just should know.’
    • ‘All the time, distant sirens that would normally be blocked out of cognizance made heads turn and ears prick up.’
    • ‘They just ground on relentlessly and there seemed to be no cognisance of the fact that there was a terrible dimension to this and that someone was under such stress.’
    • ‘All of the lofty transcendental concepts that are in the higher worlds are meant to become a part of our experience and cognizance.’
    • ‘He wrote in full cognizance of English history.’
    • ‘No cognisance has been taken of the fact that construction traffic also needs to move in the area.’
    • ‘The famous statement ‘unity of empty cognizance suffused with awareness’ refers to your own nature, the essence of your mind.’
    • ‘Strictly speaking, there is no gene for a sucking reflex, let alone for female coyness or Scottish thriftiness or cognizance of the concept of zero.’
    • ‘However, meeting these challenges must also include cognisance of Ireland's older ethnic minorities.’
    • ‘They generally preclude access to the sort of material that might permit a sense of psychic cognizance as well as an awareness of the expression of subliminal stimulation.’
    • ‘Smithson's method was a conscious tracking of the development of cognisance of a site, through the intervention of a perceptual framework that attempts to separate and describe that knowledge.’
    • ‘Does a military man take into cognizance the fact that it's a day of prayer and we should lighten up?’
    • ‘I think it was at that point, having grown in wisdom and stature and favor with God and men, he had full cognizance of his deity and his mission.’
    • ‘Taking cognizance of the information, security forces cordoned off the area and started searches.’
    • ‘The ethics of practice call upon the practitioner to take her or his place in the phenomenal world in full cognisance of the truths of love, oneness and interdependency.’
    awareness, notice, knowledge, consciousness, apprehension, perception, realization, recognition, appreciation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law The action of taking judicial notice.
      • ‘Any discreet watching brief must take full cognisance of an individual's right to privacy and independence.’
      • ‘Most international human rights instruments subsequently adopted by the United Nations have a basis in the Universal Declaration and give further definition and cognisance to those rights.’
      • ‘The law takes no cognisance of carelessness in the abstract.’
      • ‘It is bound, of course, to give cognisance to the fact of the order that is being enforced.’
      • ‘Taking cognisance of the charge-sheet filed by the Delhi police, the magistrate asked them to appear before him on September 8.’
  • 2Heraldry
    A distinctive emblem or badge formerly worn by retainers of a noble house.


  • take cognizance of

    • formal Attend to; take account of:

      ‘the new structure attempted to take cognizance of individual regions' needs’
      • ‘The school authorities too were inquiring into the matter when the board took cognisance of the complaint.’
      • ‘We were certainly unfortunate not to have taken any cognizance of it before hand, otherwise, we would have not been taken aback.’
      • ‘The employer needs to take cognisance of whether the goods are new, secondhand, manufactured by the employer or transferred at a discounted price.’
      • ‘That being so, the church now formally takes cognizance of what they have been doing, and thus of what they are.’
      • ‘This fact has been taken cognisance of by the police too.’
      • ‘They also took cognisance of the fact that it was a listed building and that any proposal should be sympathetic to its history, architectural character and location.’
      • ‘The deed of supervision is the key document that the statutory supervisors are obliged to look at and take cognisance of when dealing with operators.’
      • ‘So whether I like it or not, I have to take cognisance of what he concocts in his own little mind.’
      • ‘Supposing you are currently an important participant in a vital endeavour, you may gain a lot by taking cognisance of what is uttered by those on the sidelines.’
      • ‘This interpretation is a mistake because it takes no cognisance of the earlier attempts to make the abuse known.’
      take into account, take into consideration, bargain for, bargain on, allow for, anticipate, foresee, be prepared for, plan for
      View synonyms


Middle English conisance, from Old French conoisance, based on Latin cognoscere get to know. The spelling with g, influenced by Latin, arose in the 15th century and gradually affected the pronunciation.