[kog-nuh-zuhns, kon-uh-]
awareness, realization, or knowledge; notice; perception: The guests took cognizance of the snide remark.
judicial notice as taken by a court in dealing with a cause.
the right of taking jurisdiction, as possessed by a court.
acknowledgment; admission, as a plea admitting the fact alleged in the declaration.
the range or scope of knowledge, observation, etc.: Such understanding is beyond his cognizance.
Heraldry. a device by which a person or a person's servants or property can be recognized; badge.
Also, cognisance.

1250–1300; Middle English conisa(u)nce < Middle French con(o)is(s)ance, equivalent to conois(tre) to know (< Latin cognōscere; see cognition) + -ance -ance; forms with -g- (< Latin) from the 16th century

noncognizance, noun
self-cognizance, noun

1. note, heed, attention, regard, scrutiny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cognizance or cognisance (ˈkɒɡnɪzəns, ˈkɒnɪ-, ˈkɒɡnɪzəns, ˈkɒnɪ-)
1.  knowledge; acknowledgment
2.  take cognizance of to take notice of; acknowledge, esp officially
3.  the range or scope of knowledge or perception
4.  law
 a.  the right of a court to hear and determine a cause or matter
 b.  knowledge of certain facts upon which the court must act without requiring proof
 c.  chiefly (US) confession
5.  heraldry a distinguishing badge or bearing
[C14: from Old French conoissance, from conoistre to know, from Latin cognōscere to learn; see cognition]
cognisance or cognisance
[C14: from Old French conoissance, from conoistre to know, from Latin cognōscere to learn; see cognition]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1350, from Anglo-Fr. conysance "recognition," later, "knowledge," from O.Fr. conissance "knowledge," from pp. of conoistre "to know," from L. cognoscere "to get to know, recognize," from co- "together" + gnoscere "to know" (see notice). The -g- was restored in Eng. spelling
15c. and has gradually affected the pronunciation. Hence, cognoscente (pl. cognoscenti), 1778, from It., from L.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Surely there ought to be some cognizance taken of these recurring horrors.
The root of these heart-wrenching fluctuations between cognizance and confusion
  has eluded scientists for years.
The state takes no cognizance of private sin until it becomes a public crime.
Ignorance of things affecting cognizance does not provide proof of lying.
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