cognise vs know what difference

what is difference between cognise and know



cognise (third-person singular simple present cognises, present participle cognising, simple past and past participle cognised)

  1. Non-Oxford British English standard spelling of cognize.


  • coignes, congies


Alternative forms

  • knowe (obsolete)


From Middle English knowen, from Old English cnāwan (to know, perceive, recognise), from Proto-West Germanic *knāan, from Proto-Germanic *knēaną (to know), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃- (to know).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /nəʊ/
  • (US) enPR: , IPA(key): /noʊ/
  • (‘to know’)
  • Rhymes: -əʊ
  • Homophones: no, noh


know (third-person singular simple present knows, present participle knowing, simple past knew, past participle known or (colloquial and nonstandard) knew)

  1. (transitive) To perceive the truth or factuality of; to be certain of or that.
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 35:
      ‘I know whether a boy is telling me the truth or not.’
      ‘Thank you, sir.’
      Did he hell. They never bloody did.
  2. (transitive) To be aware of; to be cognizant of.
  3. (transitive) To be acquainted or familiar with; to have encountered.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Marsha is my roommate. — I know Marsha. She is nice.

  4. (transitive) To experience.
    • 1991, Irvin Haas, Historic Homes of the American Presidents, p.155:
      The Truman family knew good times and bad, [].
  5. (transitive) To be able to distinguish, to discern, particularly by contrast or comparison; to recognize the nature of.
    • The Bat—they called him the Bat. []. He’d never been in stir, the bulls had never mugged him, he didn’t run with a mob, he played a lone hand, and fenced his stuff so that even the fence couldn’t swear he knew his face.
    • 1980, Armored and mechanized brigade operations, p.3−29:
      Flares do not know friend from foe and so illuminate both. Changes in wind direction can result in flare exposure of the attacker while defenders hide in the shadows.
  6. (transitive) To recognize as the same (as someone or something previously encountered) after an absence or change.
    • c. 1645–1688, Thomas Flatman, Translation of Part of Petronius Arbiter’s Satyricon
      At nearer view he thought he knew the dead, / And call’d the wretched man to mind.
    • 1818, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein:
      Ernest also is so much improved, that you would hardly know him: [].
  7. To understand or have a grasp of through experience or study.
  8. (transitive, archaic, biblical) To have sexual relations with. This meaning normally specified in modern English as e.g. to ’know someone in the biblical sense’ or to ‘know Biblically.’
    • 1939, Dorothy Parker, “Horsie,” Here lies: The collected stories of Dorothy Parker:
      Now Gerald had never thought of her having a mother. Then there must have been a father, too, some time. And Miss Wilmarth existed because two people once had loved and known. It was not a thought to dwell upon.
  9. (intransitive) To have knowledge; to have information, be informed.
    • “My Continental prominence is improving,” I commented dryly. ¶ Von Lindowe cut at a furze bush with his silver-mounted rattan. ¶ “Quite so,” he said as dryly, his hand at his mustache. “I may say if your intentions were known your life would not be worth a curse.”
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Marsha knows.

  10. (intransitive) To be or become aware or cognizant.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      “A gentleman!” quoth the squire, “who the devil can he be? Do, doctor, go down and see who ‘tis. Mr Blifil can hardly be come to town yet.—Go down, do, and know what his business is.”
  11. (intransitive, obsolete) To be acquainted (with another person).
    • 1607, William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, act 2, scene 6:
      You and I have known, sir.
  12. (transitive) To be able to play or perform (a song or other piece of music).

Usage notes

  • “Knowen” is found in some old texts as the past participle.
  • In some old texts, the form “know to [verb]” rather than “know how to [verb]” is found, e.g. Milton wrote: “he knew himself to sing, and build the lofty rhymes”.



  • 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, scene 1:
    O, that a man might know / The end of this day’s business ere it come! / But it sufficeth that the day will end, / And then the end is known.
  • 1839, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Light of Stars, Voices of the Night:
    O fear not in a world like this, / And thou shalt know erelong, / Know how sublime a thing it is, / To suffer and be strong.


  • (have sexual relations with): coitize, go to bed with, sleep with; see also Thesaurus:copulate with


  • grok

Derived terms

Related terms



know (plural knows)

  1. (rare) Knowledge; the state of knowing.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1623 first folio edition), act 5, scene 2:
      That on the view and know of these Contents, [] He should the bearers put to [] death,

Derived terms

  • in the know


  • know in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • know in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.


  • Kwon, wonk



From Proto-Brythonic *know, from Proto-Celtic *knūs.


  • IPA(key): [knoʊ]


know pl (singulative knowen or knofen)

  1. nuts


Derived terms

  • know dor (peanuts)
  • know Frynk (walnuts)
  • know koko (coconuts)
  • know koll (hazelnuts)
  • know muskat (nutmeg)
  • know toos (doughnuts)
  • plisk know (nutshells)

Middle English



  1. Alternative form of kne

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