Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 17, 2020 is:

cognizable • KAHG-nuh-zuh-bul  • adjective

1 : capable of being judicially heard and determined

2 : capable of being known


“The state also argued that the plaintiffs failed to show ‘that they have suffered a cognizable burden to their right to vote’ or that Florida’s election procedures are unconstitutional.” — Dara Kam, The Naples (Florida) Daily News, 28 May 2020

“Meanwhile, the board majority appeared to be likewise deliberately or negligently unaware of state law, and operated outside of any cognizable board or committee procedure.” — Marie-Louise Ramsdale, The Post & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 21 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

It’s easy to recognize the cogni- in cognizable and in other English words that have to do with knowing: cognitive, incognito, precognition, and recognition, for example. They’re all from Latin cognōscere (“to get to know” or “to acquire knowledge of”). Cognizable was formed in the 17th century from the root of cognizance, which in English means “knowledge” or “awareness.” Cognizance traces to cognōscere via Anglo-French conoisance and conoissant, meaning “aware” or “mindful.” Cognizable was used in its legal sense almost from its introduction, and that meaning continues to be most common today.

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