1. The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
2. That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.
[Middle English cognicioun, from Latin cognitiō, cognitiōn-, from cognitus, past participle of cognōscere, to learn : co-, intensive pref.; see CO- + gnōscere, to know; see gnō- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.