Meaning of ken in English:


Pronunciation /kɛn/

See synonyms for ken

Translate ken into Spanish


in singular
  • One's range of knowledge or understanding.

    ‘politics are beyond my ken’
    • ‘Yes, for me too it was something totally different - beyond my ken.’
    • ‘The morons do not even protect the exposed steel with paint - and something as simple and old-fashioned as using galvanized bolts in the first place is clearly way beyond their ken.’
    • ‘That was 1990, and the friend and his friends were witty and sparkly, and totally convinced me that Aucklanders were smart and sophisticated and ironic beyond my ken.’
    • ‘It's beyond my ken, but for those in the know there's an accompanying set of statistics, ranging from water absorption rates to frost resistance.’
    • ‘How he can handle such pain and fear is beyond my ken.’
    • ‘How anyone can take a steady daily diet of meetings is beyond my ken.’
    • ‘‘I think this is a bit beyond my ken,’ Updike says generously, before sheepishly moving on.’
    • ‘If there is a better job than travelling the globe at someone else's expense and being paid handsomely for it, then it is beyond our ken.’
    • ‘You know also that forces beyond our ken are always at work.’
    • ‘We sense a mathematical basis for the design, but one that lies beyond our ken.’
    • ‘There were powers stirring this night, strange things beyond his ken.’
    • ‘His actions seem senseless, but by the glint in his eye, you know he's operating with a logic beyond your ken.’
    • ‘The visitor should experience a little vertigo, because something is going on that is beyond his ken.’
    • ‘The sport of homing-pigeon racing has been developing for over a century, and they have been used to carry messages for longer, but how the birds navigate is still beyond our ken.’
    • ‘Maybe recognition of such a state is simply beyond his ken after all these years.’
    • ‘Is it possible that in some far-off galaxy as yet beyond our ken creatures very different but perhaps far superior to us in intelligence live in a civilisation of their own?’
    • ‘Total awareness is a discipline beyond the ken of us ordinary mortals.’
    • ‘Such allusions, which portray Horace's awareness of politico-religious matters, can be said to be beyond the ken of a philological approach.’
    • ‘Concepts such as dollar cost averaging and compound interest are way beyond the ken of your average punter because they're never explained in the popular press.’
    • ‘Moreover, the consequences lie far into the future and spread across the entire globe: way beyond their temporal and spatial kens.’
    knowledge, awareness, perception, understanding, grasp, comprehension, realization, apprehension, appreciation, consciousness, recognition, notice
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verbverb kens, verb kenning, past participle verb kenned, past participle verb kent/kɛnt/

[with object]
  • 1Scottish, Northern English Know.

    ‘d'ye ken anyone who can boast of that?’
    • ‘Just when you think you ken everything there is to ken about living in Scotland, you get a rude awakening.’
    • ‘But our Ancestors kenned that some places are more lively, more powerful than other places, and this potency is explored through the medium of sacred geometry, through ley lines and stone circles.’
    be acquainted with, have met, be familiar with
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    1. 1.1Recognize; identify.
      • ‘that's him—d'ye ken him?’
      identify, place, know, know again, pick out, put a name to
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Old English cennan ‘tell, make known’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German kennen ‘know, be acquainted with’, from an Indo-European root shared by can and know. Current senses of the verb date from Middle English; the noun from the mid 16th century.