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   The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000.
 

Appendix I

Indo-European Roots
 
ENTRY:gn-
DEFINITION:To know. Oldest form *ne3-, colored to *no3-, contracted to *n- (becoming *gn- in centum languages).
Derivatives include know, cunning, uncouth, ignore, noble, diagnosis, and narrate.
1. Variant form *gn-, contracted from *gn-. know; knowledge, acknowledge, from Old English cnwan, to know, from Germanic *kn(w)-. 2. Zero-grade form *g-. a. can1, con2, cunning, from Old English cunnan, to know, know how to, be able to, from Germanic *kunnan (Old English first and third singular can from Germanic *kann from o-grade *gon-); b. ken, kenning, from Old English cennan, to declare, and Old Norse kenna, to know, name (in a formal poetic metaphor), from Germanic causative verb *kannjan, to make known; c. couth; uncouth, from Old English cth, known, well-known, usual, excellent, familiar, from Germanic *kunthaz; d. kith and kin, from Old English cth(the), cththu, knowledge, acquaintance, friendship, kinfolk, from Germanic *kunthith. 3. Suffixed form *gn-sko-. notice, notify, notion, notorious; acquaint, cognition, cognizance, connoisseur, incognito, quaint, recognize, reconnaissance, reconnoiter, from Latin (g)nscere, cognscere, to get to know, get acquainted with. 4. Suffixed form *gn-ro-. ignorant, ignore, from Latin ignrre, not to know, to disregard (i- for in-, not; see ne). 5. Suffixed form *gn-dhli-. noble, from Latin nbilis, knowable, known, famous, noble. 6. Reduplicated and suffixed form *gi-gn-sko-. gnome2, gnomon, gnosis, Gnostic; agnosia, diagnosis, pathognomonic, physiognomy, prognosis, from Greek gignskein, to know, think, judge (verbal adjective gntos, known), with gnsis (< *gn-ti-), knowledge, inquiry, and gnmn, judge, interpreter. 7. Suffixed zero-grade form *g-ro-. narrate, from Latin narrre (< *gnarrre), to tell, relate, from gnrus, knowing, expert. 8. Suffixed zero-grade form *g-ti-. Zend-Avesta, from Avestan zainti-, knowledge (remade from *zti-). 9. Traditionally but improbably referred here are: a. note; annotate, connote, prothonotary, from Latin nota, a mark, note, sign, cipher, shorthand character; b. norm, Norma, normal; abnormal, enormous, from Latin norma, carpenter's square, rule, pattern, precept, possibly from an Etruscan borrowing of Greek gnmn, carpenter's square, rule. (Pokorny 2. en- 376.)
 
 
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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