Middle English Dictionary Entry

cǒnnen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. cǒuth adj.
To have ability, capability, or skill: be able (to do sth.), be capable (of doing sth.), know how (to do sth.); -- (a) with complementary inf.; (b) with a clause or phrase expressing the complementary action.
To be in a position (to do or be sth.); be justified or right (in doing sth.); be possible or right under the circumstances; -- (a) with complementary inf.; (b) with a clause or phrase expressing the complementary action; (c) used to emphasize the reality or fact of an action: how can you fare? How do you do?; etc. [cp. can v., p.29].
(a) To have mastery of (a skill), be versed or competent in (a craft, occupation, activity); ~ craft, ~ mister, ~ the olde daunce; ~ (of) courteisie, know polite manners, be courteous; -- with obj. or of, on phrase; (b) to know or understand (a language), have mastery of; ~ of speche; (c) ~ lettres, ~ of lettre, ~ on boke, to know how to read, be literate.
(a) To know or have mastery of (a field of learning, a body of doctrines, etc.); ~ lare, possess learning, be learned; ~ artes, ~ craftes, be versed in the arts or sciences; -- with obj. or of phrase; (b) to possess knowledge or understanding; (c) as noun: ability to know or understand.
(a) To know (particular things, facts, or truths); be familiar with or informed about (sth.); also, come to know, understand, recognize; -- with obj. or of, on phrase; (b) to know (sth.) by heart; ~ bi herte, ~ bi rote; (c) cunned, known; renowned.
Phrases: (a) connen art, ~ gile, ~ gin, ~ skil, ~ wrench, to be clever or crafty, know a ruse or trick, etc.; (b) connen bote, ~ help, ~ recour, ~ succour, to know or have a remedy; find a way out, escape from a difficulty; (c) cunnen god (wel), to know what is good, proper, right, or beneficial; have good sense; be discriminating, prudent, or wise; (d) ~ maugre, to feel or be resentful, bear (sb.) a grudge; (e) connen red, ~ counsel, ~ skil, to have a helpful plan or suggestion; also, be wise [quot.Cursor]; ~ no red, ~ non ende, know no remedy, be perplexed or helpless; (f) connen skil, ~ wisdom, to have knowledge, understanding, or skill; ~ skil of (on), know about (sth.), be versed in (an art); (g) connen thank, ~ gre, to feel or be grateful (to sb.); owe or offer (sb.) thanks; be pleased; ~ ivel thank, be displeased, resent; (h) ~ insight, ~ (of) wisdom, to have insight or understanding; ~ reson, ~ wit, possess intelligence, be intelligent or wise.
To experience (an emotion, trouble, etc.), know from experience; feel or be (happy, sad, angry, etc.); -- also with of phrase.
Misc. uses: (a) to know (right and wrong, or right from wrong), have moral judgment; (b) to have power or influence, dominate; (c) love can no frendship, love ignores friendship.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?c1400(1379) *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.105va (3.16) : To knowen & conyn harmeth noʒt, for conyng is euermore faire.
Note: Additional quot. New spelling: conin. Editor's gloss: conyn, v. 'to know, to understand'.