Going by known pairs of nouns and verbs, it would be "cognite", but is it valid? If not, what's the right word?

Update: I know cognise or cognize, but it doesn't cover the full meaning of "cognition" as it's used now. E.g., AHD has "The mental process or faculty of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment." Consider the usage in "Cognitive-Behavorial Therapy". It's far more than just the meaning of "know".

Furthermore, cognize is the verb for cognizance, not cognition.

  • 1
    Please include an example sentence where you would use the verb form. Have you checked the POS, meaning and usage of cognite?
    – Kris
    Aug 9, 2018 at 6:22
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    – Kris
    Aug 9, 2018 at 6:26
  • I've googled: "meaning cognite" and can't find any English meaning. (It's available as Latin and Italian. Aug 9, 2018 at 7:20
  • How would you define cognitive as in CBT? Look here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Kris
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:43
  • Kris, that page isn't so useful for this purpose. See this: gerardkeegan.co.uk/glossary/gloss_c.htm You'll find "using our cognitions of perception, attention, language, memory, and thinking". Aug 10, 2018 at 8:12

5 Answers 5


The word cognize (cognise) does exist, but according to the OED etymology it seems a relatively recent word backformed from cognisant, cognition etc. and from the earlier recognise. The relevant entry is:

Etymology: A comparatively modern word, formed with reference to cognizance , cognizor , and the kindred words, and the earlier recognize . It thus corresponds analogically, but not phonetically, to Latin cognōscere , Old French conoistre , French connaître : compare cognosce v. The prevalence of the ending -ize over -ise is apparently due to the influence of the large class of verbs having etymological -ize suffix.

†1. Law. (intr. or absol.) To take cognizance. 1659 T. Burton Diary (1828) III. 129 The Judges..sit at Westminster, and they cognize.

  1. trans. To take cognizance of, take note of, notice, observe. 1821 Joseph the Book-man 107 [He] was cogniz'd by every eye.

1889 J. M. Robertson Ess. Crit. Method 72 Moved to incipient hysteria where anon I should simply cognize pathos.

  1. Philosophy. To know, perceive, become conscious of; to make (anything) an object of cognition.

a1856 W. Hamilton Lect. Metaphysics (1859) II. xxi. 19 It would also be convenient..for psychological precision and emphasis, to use the word to cognise in connection with its noun cognition.

a1856 W. Hamilton Lect. Metaphysics (1859) II. xxxvi. 329 They first know,—they first cognise, the things and persons presented to them.

1862 H. Spencer First Princ. i. iv. §24. 80 It is a material object, and it is cognized by being recognized as such.

1876 St. G. Mivart Lessons from Nature vii. 196 We cognize an object..by one act; we cognize that cognition by a very different act.

  • 3
    This is the kind of thing that drives me round the bend. [From there] Here is a perfectly good entry from the OED, and it receives two downvotes. I have never seen in in modern speech or writing. That is not to say one cannot use it. After all, it is in the OED.
    – Lambie
    Aug 9, 2018 at 14:37
  • Got a hint from your answer. I see ”take cognizance“. Aha! In the same way, I can say "to have cognition"! Aug 10, 2018 at 8:23


or cognise (ˈkɒɡnaɪz , kɒɡˈnaɪz )
to perceive, become aware of, or know
Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins

See also:

‘The distinction between intuitive and abstractive cognition does not depend on the object at all; the very same object can be cognized in both an intuitive and an abstractive way.’
(cognize on ODO)

  • Well spotted, +1. I've learned a new word, but I have no idea when I'll use it, if I slipped it into conversation with my friends and family I suspect that I'd be subjected to derision rather than respect. Ah well, what's new?
    – BoldBen
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:06
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    @BoldBen It's a formal word. Better suited for scholarly writing. I don't think it can "be slipped it into conversation with friends and family" without being "subjected to derision rather than respect." But that's a different question.
    – Kris
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:13
  • Thanks, but cognize seems more like the verb for cognizance, right? Aug 10, 2018 at 8:25

Cognition, in the sense of "perception, sensation" is an old usage dating back to the 17th century:

In 17c. the meaning was extended to include perception and sensation.

from which:

the psychological processes by which individuals acquire and process information, generally applied to thought processes and memory. cognitive psychology the branch of psychology concerned with the study of cognition.

(Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine by Churchill Livingstone)

The verb is cognize. The originale term from which all other related term derive is cognizance, from Old French “conoistre” (to know). Note that it is a formal term.

"perceive, become conscious of," 1650s, back-formation from cognizance. The French word is connaître (Old French conoistre).


  • 2
    Cognizance and cognition are not same thing.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:31
  • 3
    @ubihatt - I didn't say they are. I am talking about their original root.
    – user 66974
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:33

Firstly, cognite is not a word. There is no apparent entry of this word in any of the standard dictionaries. So, there is no question of it being a verb.

That said, you are right, that cognize or cognise does not fully cover the meaning of cognition because cognize is a verb of cognizance.

But, you can still use cognize as a verb for cognition on selected topics where cognition acts as a noun for cognizance, check below.

There are delineating similarities between Cognition (noun) and Cognizance (noun) which allows us to use "cognize" as a verb to cognition.

Following are the details:

enter image description here

So, whenever cognition acts as a noun to cognizance you can use "cognize" as verb to cognition.

Why, cogitate can't be used as verb for cognition?

enter image description here

  • 1
    There are some grammatical mistakes in your source, which doesn't necessarily make the information wrong, but I'd find it less trustworthy for this reason. Where is it from?
    – S Conroy
    Aug 9, 2018 at 15:38
  • 1
    Yes, where is it from? I like the answer though, and am considering marking it as the accepted one. Aug 10, 2018 at 8:26
  • Thanks. You need to remove/change the last character (]) for the correct link. Aug 10, 2018 at 8:34
  • @KumāraBhikkhu yep! done already. If you like the answer, then don't forget to mark it as accepted.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:35
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    @KumāraBhikkhu "cognitize" is a neologism. You might use it, if you provide reference in your work. Secondly, it is not standard word. So, many people will not recognise it. Use it wisely.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:18

While reading through, I've managed to cognitize the word!

I googled it and yes it has begun to be used.

Some aren't what I was looking for, because the word is used as a causative, e.g. "Cognitize your course: Technology tools to optimize cognition in online learning" and "Everything that we formerly electrified we will now cognitize."

But some are, e.g.:

Someone on FB also asked: is there a word called "cognitize"

[Update: I'm super-duper happy to find much greater confirmation as shown in Sven Yargs's comment below. 41 confirmed unique matches for cognitize, 2 for de-cognitize, and 31 for cognitise, is super good enough for me.]

Thanks, everybody for the conversation. Although none of you provided this word, you've made me cognitize enough to have this word come up in my head.

[Update: You may be interested to see this on Google's Ngram Viewer: cognitize.

  • The sources which you have provided are not reliable. Here it is used metaphorically to that of magnetize.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:24
  • Accept the change. Your answer looks like hotchpotch.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:26
  • I didn't reject it. When I took a look, it was already rejected. I agree that it looks better now. Aug 10, 2018 at 9:30
  • 1
    You need to accept second change also for the last link.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:32
  • 1
    +1. A Google Books search returns 41 confirmed unique matches for cognitize (one from 1911 and all of the rest from 1964 or later) and 2 for de-cognitize (from 1973 and 2002) . A second Google Books search finds an additional 31 confirmable unique matches for cognitise (all since 1978).
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 19, 2018 at 21:50

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