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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Cognitioun, Cognicioun, n. Also: cognitioune, -ition, congnicioune, cognicione, -iscioune, -ission, -esioun. [e.m.E. cognition (1523), ME. (rare) cognycyoun (1447), L. cognitio.]

1. Knowledge. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1435.
Our saull sall haue luf & cognicioun And eike fruicioun of the blist trinite
1528 Lynd. Dreme 577.
Filicitie thay had inuariabyll, And of his Godhed cleir cognitioun

2. Authoritative or judicial knowledge, or the acquisition of this by inquiry or investigation. Freq. with tak vb.In common use after 1550.(a) 1491 Acta Aud. 159/1.
Our souerane lordis faider … lat the said landis … to borghe to the said Arthure Forbes efter congnitioun of the causse him self sittand in iugement
1537 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 82.
We beseik youre lordschipis … [to] tak cognitioun quhethair our burch or the burch of Kingorne are richear
The saidis baillies … haweand consideratioun, perfyte cognitioun and knawlege of the premissis
1548 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 359.
The Schiref … causit arreist the saydis cornis sawin … quhill the sayd cognitioun be takkin
1555 Acts II. 495/1.
Summar cognitioun to be takin of the slauchter
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 424.
Iust iugis aucht … nocht on heid, without discretioun Determe withouttin iust cognitioun
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI .
James, Earle of Bothwell, … thoght expedient … to put himselff to the cognition of a iure oppenlie
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 12.
All the persons suspect … sall be repelled, and incontinent cognition, or tryal, be taken be the assise
1623 Peebles B. Rec. 363.
That ȝe call befor yow sick personnes … and tak cognitioun thairintill
1641 Acts V. 342/1.
Commissionaris … who sall haue power to dignosce and tak cognitioune whidder the same fallis within the said act … or not
(b) 1491 Acta Conc. 197/1.
The said lettrez ar inordourly procedit … because thai war gevin without congniscioune of the cause
1566 Rec. Earld. Orkney 122.
That trew triell and just cognission be tane
1574 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 100.
For taking of tryall and cognesioun of sclander committit be … ane of the senatouris

b. In comb. with taking. 1518 Fife Sheriff Ct. 113.
The actioune … tueching the cognicione taking of the landis of Michalstoune
1521 Ib. 172.
It mycht suffice for the congnicioune taking in the said mater

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"Cognitioun n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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