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[kog-nish-uh n] /kɒgˈnɪʃ ən/
the act or process of knowing; perception.
the product of such a process; something thus known, perceived, etc.
Origin of cognition
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English cognicioun < Latin cognitiōn- (stem of cognitiō), equivalent to cognit(us), past participle of cognōscere (co- co- + gni-, variant stem of gnōscere, nōscere, to learn (see know1) + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
cognitional, adjective
noncognition, noun
self-cognition, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cognition
  • Some scientists attribute this leap to evolutionary advances in cognition and memory alone.
  • Consider the question of how you might augment cognition and mood by stimulating selected neural circuits.
  • We really don't need even a single machine approaching human level cognition for that one.
  • Saving time would appear to be the essence of rapid cognition.
  • He wrested philosophy away from an exclusive concentration on cognition to an investigation of emotive being.
  • And dozens of studies have linked an increase in nightly sleep to better cognition and alertness.
  • So found researchers studying the interaction between physical touch and social cognition.
  • In reality, huge swaths of the cortex are involved in every aspect of cognition.
  • It's what science fiction writers call the spearhead of cognition.
  • My own intuition is that this unconscious cognition is pretty effective.
British Dictionary definitions for cognition


the mental act or process by which knowledge is acquired, including perception, intuition, and reasoning
the knowledge that results from such an act or process
Derived Forms
cognitional, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin cognitiō, from cognōscere from co- (intensive) + nōscere to learn; see know
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cognition

mid-15c., "ability to comprehend," from Latin cognitionem (nominative cognitio) "a getting to know, acquaintance, knowledge," noun of action from past participle stem of cognoscere (see cognizance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cognition in Medicine

cognition cog·ni·tion (kŏg-nĭsh'ən)
The mental faculty of knowing, which includes perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, judging, reasoning, and imagining.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cognition in Science
The mental process of knowing, including awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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