Cognition is the act of thinking, perceiving, and understanding. It's cognition that makes it possible for you to learn a foreign language.

The word cognition is most often used in scholarly or formal writing about learning and thinking, though you can also use it to describe what happens when you use your brain power to complete a crossword puzzle or remember math equations for a test. Cognition comes from the Latin verb cognoscere, meaning "a getting to know, or knowledge," combining com-, "together," and gnoscere, "to know."

Definitions of cognition
  1. noun
    the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
    synonyms: knowledge, noesis
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    brain, head, mind, nous, psyche
    that which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason
    an abstract mental location
    general knowledge, public knowledge
    knowledge that is available to anyone
    the body of ideas that determine the knowledge that is intellectually certain at any particular time
    ability, power
    possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done
    lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
    all of the words in a language; all word forms having meaning or grammatical function
    lexicon, mental lexicon, vocabulary
    a language user's knowledge of words
    knowledge of how something is usually done
    cognitive factor
    something immaterial (as a circumstance or influence) that contributes to producing a result
    a person or thing equal to another in value, measure, force, effect, significance, etc.
    cognitive operation, cognitive process, mental process, operation, process
    (psychology) the performance of some composite cognitive activity; an operation that affects mental contents
    process, unconscious process
    a mental process that you are not directly aware of
    knowledge gained by perceiving
    the complex composition of knowledge as elements and their combinations
    cognitive content, content, mental object
    the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
    knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
    all that is remembered of the past as preserved in writing; a body of knowledge
    attitude, mental attitude
    a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways
    sleep talking, somniloquism, somniloquy
    uttering speech while asleep
    an informal British expression for head or mind
    common knowledge
    anything generally known to everyone
    public awareness
    open, surface
    information that has become public
    tabula rasa
    a young mind not yet affected by experience (according to John Locke)
    (psychoanalysis) the conscious mind
    unconscious, unconscious mind
    that part of the mind wherein psychic activity takes place of which the person is unaware
    subconscious, subconscious mind
    psychic activity just below the level of awareness
    the (technical) knowledge and skill required to do something
    the ability to lead
    the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
    inherent ability
    the ability to speak two languages colloquially
    capacity, mental ability
    the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability to understand the facts and significance of your behavior
    creative thinking, creativeness, creativity
    the ability to create
    the ability to think and act independently
    science, skill
    ability to produce solutions in some problem domain
    accomplishment, acquirement, acquisition, attainment, skill
    an ability that has been acquired by training
    superior skill
    more than ordinary ability
    block, mental block
    an inability to remember or think of something you normally can do; often caused by emotional tension
    a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience
    a lack of aptitude
    lack of intellectual power
    a lack of cognitive skill
    analphabetism, illiteracy
    an inability to read
    a lack of creativity
    faculty, mental faculty, module
    one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
    custom, tradition
    a specific practice of long standing
    convention, formula, normal, pattern, rule
    something regarded as a normative example
    heritage, legacy
    practices that are handed down from the past by tradition
    divine guidance, inspiration
    (theology) a special influence of a divinity on the minds of human beings
    a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result
    causal factor, determinant, determinative, determiner, determining factor
    a determining or causal element or factor
    counterpart, opposite number, vis-a-vis
    a person or thing having the same function or characteristics as another
    replacement, substitute
    a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another
    basic cognitive process
    cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge
    discernment, perceptiveness
    perception of that which is obscure
    insight, penetration
    clear or deep perception of a situation
    range or scope of what is perceived
    arrangement, organisation, organization, system
    an organized structure for arranging or classifying
    higher cognitive process
    cognitive processes that presuppose the availability of knowledge and put it to use
    an inability to understand
    an inherited pattern of thought or action
    the focus of cognitions or feelings
    food, food for thought, intellectual nourishment
    anything that provides mental stimulus for thinking
    noumenon, thing-in-itself
    the intellectual conception of a thing as it is in itself, not as it is known through perception
    universe, universe of discourse
    everything stated or assumed in a given discussion
    issue, matter, subject, topic
    some situation or event that is thought about
    an important question that is in dispute and must be settled
    data point, datum
    an item of factual information derived from measurement or research
    acquaintance, conversance, conversancy, familiarity
    personal knowledge or information about someone or something
    a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred
    example, illustration, instance, representative
    an item of information that is typical of a class or group
    circumstance, condition, consideration
    information that should be kept in mind when making a decision
    background, background knowledge
    information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem
    a piece of stored information that is used to identify an item in an information storage and retrieval system
    evidence, grounds
    your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief
    information that supports a probabilistic estimate of future events
    inside information that something is going to happen
    input, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus
    any stimulating information or event; acts to arouse action
    idea, thought
    the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about
    center, centre, core, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, pith, substance, sum
    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
    accumulated knowledge or erudition or enlightenment
    internal representation, mental representation, representation
    a presentation to the mind in the form of an idea or image
    form, pattern, shape
    a perceptual structure
    any cognitive content held as true
    disbelief, unbelief
    a rejection of belief
    heresy, unorthodoxy
    a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
    end, goal
    the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it
    knowledge acquired by learning and instruction
    the content of direct observation or participation in an event
    acculturation, culture
    all the knowledge and values shared by a society
    lore, traditional knowledge
    knowledge gained through tradition or anecdote
    the lack of knowledge or education
    domain, knowledge base, knowledge domain
    the content of a particular field of knowledge
    knowledge about knowledge
    phrase structure, sentence structure, syntax
    the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences
    morphology, sound structure, syllable structure, word structure
    the admissible arrangement of sounds in words
    acceptance, credence
    the mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true
    the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization
    defensive, defensive attitude
    an attitude of defensiveness (especially in the phrase `on the defensive')
    a no-nonsense attitude in business or politics
    high horse
    an attitude of arrogant superiority
    an attitude characteristic of Southerners (especially in the US)
    mentality, mind-set, mindset, outlook
    a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
    the attitude (of a person or a government) that subordinates should be controlled in a fatherly way for their own good
    position, posture, stance
    a rationalized mental attitude
    disposition, inclination, tendency
    an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others
    willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others
    unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs
    esteem, regard, respect
    an attitude of admiration or esteem
    a disrespectful mental attitude
    a reverent mental attitude
    an irreverent mental attitude
    an integrated set of attitudes and beliefs
    (psychoanalysis) an unconscious process whereby two ideas or images combine into a single symbol; especially in dreams
    layer, level, stratum
    an abstract place usually conceived as having depth
    defence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defense mechanism, defense reaction
    (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
    type of:
    psychological feature
    a feature of the mental life of a living organism
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘cognition'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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