1. Perception; understanding: complex issues well beyond our ken.
a. Range of vision.
b. View; sight.
v. kenned or kent (kĕnt), ken·ning, kens
1. To know (a person or thing).
2. To recognize.
To have knowledge or an understanding.
[From Middle English kennen (influenced by Old Norse kenna, to know), from Old English cennan, to declare; 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.