Cognizance Cog"ni*zance (? or ?; 277), n. [OF. conissance, conoissance, F. connaissance, LL. cognoscentia, fr. L. cognoscere to know. See {Cognition}, and cf. {Cognoscence}, {Connoisseur}.] 1. Apprehension by the understanding; perception; observation. [1913 Webster]

Within the cognizance and lying under the control of their divine Governor. --Bp. Hurd [1913 Webster]

2. Recollection; recognition. [1913 Webster]

Who, soon as on that knight his eye did glance, Eftsoones of him had perfect cognizance. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

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.] --Cowell. Mozley & W. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Wearing the liveries and cognizance of their master. --Prescott. [1913 Webster]

This pale and angry rose, As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.