The Meaning of Cognitive: What It Is and How To Use It

To learn more about what the meaning of cognitive, read this article. It will teach you about the definition and usage of the word cognitive.

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Have you ever heard the terms cognitive psychology or cognitive function and wondered what the word cognitive meant? This article will teach you about the meaning of cognitive and other topics related to the word cognitive, such as synonyms and antonyms, sentence examples, and its origin. 

Keep reading to learn all about the meaning of cognitive so you can start using this new word!

What Does the Word Cognitive Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, cognitive is an adjective that means pertaining to brain function and cognition. If something is cognitive in nature, it pertains to judgment, reasoning, memory, and perception. Cognitive is three syllables — cog-ni-tive — and the pronunciation of cognitive is ˈkɑɡnɪtɪv

What Is the Origin of Cognitive?

According to Dictionary, the word cognitive has been used since Middle English in the 1580s. This term comes from the Medieval Latin cognitīvus, the perfect passive participle of cognosco and a combination of the Latin cognitus with the Latin suffix īvus or ivus.

How Can I Use Cognitive in a Sentence?

Cognitive is an adjective that refers to things that pertain to the brain. By studying the examples below, you can learn how to incorporate the word cognitive into your vocabulary. 

After you study these sentences, try coming up with your own example sentences that contain the word cognitive: 

He suffered from cognitive impairment and a lack of judgment from his brain injury. In addition, his executive function and the part of mental functions concerned with forming tasks was affected by the lack of blood flow to the frontal lobe.

The young child was assessed for her immense cognitive ability, and her cognitive processing levels were off the charts. Since she was so far ahead for a child’s cognitive development, her parents placed her in an advanced early childhood program where she would have a harder time than in normal elementary school.

His cognitive decline and early onset dementia began in his late sixties, along with the onset of diabetes, muscle atrophy, and obesity. As a result, he found it tough to relate to older adults and colleagues who did not experience these new things.

His cognitive perception of logic was incredibly advanced, but his mental processes of perception of emotions were lacking. People were surprised by how his cognitive mechanisms could solve complex situations with logical thinking but could not understand behavior.

The study found that genes and other lifestyle factors like physical exercise played into different aspects of cognition. In addition, they found that mental action in daily life was just as important as physical daily activities. They also discovered that environmental factors could cause disorders with neural circuitry that could lead to cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.

She had a passion for the study of cognition and cognitive neuroscience. From her viewpoint, any person could be as philosophically intelligent as John Locke or Aristotle if they could unlock the power of their neurons.

What Are Translations of Cognitive?

If you are going to discuss cognitive function or ability with someone who does not speak English, you can reference this list of cognitive translations from Nice Translator. If you need to communicate about cognitive ability or cognitive processing in another language, this list has got you covered.

  • Lithuanian: pažinimas
  • Portuguese (Brazil): cognitivo
  • Serbian: когнитиван
  • Ukrainian: когнітивний
  • Swedish: kognitiv
  • Amharic: የእውቀት (ኮግኒቲቭ)
  • Dutch: cognitief
  • Latvian: izziņa
  • Greek: γνωστική
  • Bulgarian: когнитивно
  • Italian: cognitivo
  • Chinese (PRC): 认知的
  • Catalan: cognitiu
  • Gujarati: જ્ઞાનાત્મક
  • Hebrew: קוגניטיבי
  • Arabic: الإدراكي
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 認知的
  • Slovenian: kognitivno
  • Russian: познавательный
  • German: kognitiv
  • Estonian: kognitiivne
  • Spanish: cognitivo
  • Tamil: அறிவாற்றல்
  • Indonesian: kognitif
  • Czech: poznávací
  • Malayalam: കോഗ്നിറ്റീവ്
  • Malay: kognitif
  • Finnish: kognitiivinen
  • Korean: 인지
  • Basque: kontrako
  • Slovak: poznávacie
  • Vietnamese: nhận thức
  • Marathi: संज्ञानात्मक
  • Croatian: kognitivni
  • Polish: kognitywny
  • Japanese: 認知
  • French: cognitif
  • Norwegian: kognitiv
  • Bengali: জ্ঞান ভিত্তিক
  • Portuguese (Portugal): cognitivo
  • Telugu: కాగ్నిటివ్
  • Icelandic: vitræna
  • Hungarian: kognitív
  • Urdu: سنجیدگی سے
  • Welsh: gwybyddol
  • Kannada: ಅರಿವಿನ
  • Turkish: bilişsel
  • Thai: เกี่ยวกับความรู้ความเข้าใจ
  • Hindi: संज्ञानात्मक
  • Danish: kognitivt
  • Swahili: utambuzi

What Are Synonyms of the Word Cognitive?

Cognitive has a scientific connotation. If you are looking for a word with the same meaning as the word cognitive with a different connotation, you can reference this list of synonyms of cognitive from Power Thesaurus

Learning synonyms of the word cognitive is a great way to expand your English vocabulary. 

  • ability
  • abstract
  • academic
  • analytical
  • brain
  • cerebral
  • cognition
  • cognoscible
  • commonsensical
  • conceptual
  • consequent
  • consistent
  • deductive
  • discerning
  • emotional
  • enlightened
  • excogitating
  • experimental
  • far-sighted
  • in the mind
  • inner
  • intellective
  • intellectual
  • intelligent
  • judicious
  • knowing
  • levelheaded
  • logical
  • mental
  • noetic
  • perceiving
  • percipient
  • perspicacious
  • philosophic
  • practical
  • prudent
  • psychiatric
  • psychic
  • psychical
  • psychogenic
  • psychologic
  • psychological
  • ratiocinative
  • rational
  • reasonable
  • reasoned
  • reasoning
  • reflective
  • sagacious
  • sane
  • sensible
  • spiritual
  • subconscious
  • subjective
  • tenable
  • theoretical
  • thinking
  • thought-out
  • unconscious
  • well-advised

What Are Antonyms of the Word Cognitive?

For words that do not relate to the brain but instead relate to things that are physical, check out this list of antonyms of cognitive from Power Thesaurus. By studying antonyms of the word cognition, you can better understand the meaning of the word cognitive.

  • actual
  • aerophysical
  • animal
  • bodily
  • brute
  • carnal
  • checkup
  • concrete
  • corporeal
  • earthly
  • exam
  • examination
  • fleshly
  • forcible
  • health examination
  • heavy
  • human
  • in the flesh
  • incarnate
  • labor-intensive
  • made flesh
  • manual
  • material
  • materialistic
  • mortal
  • mundane
  • natural
  • nonspiritual
  • palpable
  • personal
  • physical examination
  • physically
  • physiologic
  • physiological
  • real
  • secular
  • sensible
  • sensual
  • sexual
  • solid
  • somatic
  • strong-arm
  • substantial
  • tactile
  • tangible
  • temporal
  • terrestrial
  • touchable
  • violent
  • visible
  • worldly


The word cognitive means relating to the brain or the brain’s processes. The word cognitive is an adjective that is largely used in scientific settings. The word cognitive is Latin in origin.


  1. Cognitive synonyms – 249 Words and Phrases for Cognitive | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Physical synonyms – 983 Words and Phrases for Physical | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Cognitive definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. Cognitive | Nice Translator