1. Apprehension by the understanding; perception; observation.
Within the cognizance and lying under the control of their divine Governor. --Bp. Hurd
2. Recollection; recognition.
Who, soon as on that knight his eye did glance,
Eftsoones of him had perfect cognizance. --Spenser.
3. Law (a) Jurisdiction, or the power given by law to hear and decide controversies. (b) The hearing a matter judicially. (c) An acknowledgment of a fine of lands and tenements or confession of a thing done. [Eng.] (d) 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. [Eng.]
4. 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.
Wearing the liveries and cognizance of their master. --Prescott.
This pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate. --Shak.
n 1: having knowledge of; "he had no awareness of his mistakes";
"his sudden consciousness of the problem he faced";
"their intelligence and general knowingness was
impressive" [syn: awareness, consciousness, cognisance,
2: range of what one can know or understand; "beyond my ken"
3: range or scope of what is perceived