Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Conscious knowledge or recognition; awareness.
  • n. The range of what one can know or understand.
  • n. Observance; notice: We will take cognizance of your objections at the proper time.
  • n. Law Acknowledgment, recognition, or jurisdiction; the assumption of jurisdiction in a case.
  • n. Heraldry A crest or badge worn to distinguish the bearer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An emblem, badge or device, used as a distinguishing mark by the body of retainers of a royal or noble house.
  • n. Notice or awareness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Apprehension by the understanding; perception; observation.
  • n. Recollection; recognition.
  • n.
  • n. Jurisdiction, or the power given by law to hear and decide controversies.
  • n. The hearing a matter judicially.
  • n. An acknowledgment of a fine of lands and tenements or confession of a thing done.
  • n. A form of defense in the action of replevin, by which the defendant insists that the goods were lawfully taken, as a distress, by defendant, acting as servant for another.
  • n. The distinguishing mark worn by an armed knight, usually upon the helmet, and by his retainers and followers: Hence, in general, a badge worn by a retainer or dependent, to indicate the person or party to which he belonged; a token by which a thing may be known.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Knowledge or notice; perception; observation: now chiefly in the phrase take cognizance.
  • n. In law: The exercise of jurisdiction; a taking of authoritative notice, as of a cause.
  • n. Acknowledgment; admission, as a plea admitting the fact alleged in the declaration; a fine sur conusance de droit.
  • n. A plea in replevin, that defendant holds the goods in the right of another as his bailiff or servant. See avowry.
  • n. Any badge borne to facilitate recognition.
  • n. In heraldry, the armorial surcoat, or the crest, when worn, as being the only means by which a man in complete armor could be recognized.
  • n. Also spelled cognisance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. range of what one can know or understand
  • n. range or scope of what is perceived
  • n. having knowledge of

Etymologies

Middle English conissaunce, from Old French conoissance, from connoistre, to know, from Latin cognōscere, to learn; see cognition.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Equivalent to cognize +‎ -ance (Wiktionary)

Examples

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