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[in-kog-nee-toh, in-kog-ni-toh] /ˌɪn kɒgˈni toʊ, ɪnˈkɒg nɪˌtoʊ/
having one's identity concealed, as under an assumed name, especially to avoid notice or formal attentions.
with the real identity concealed:
to travel incognito.
noun, plural incognitos for 3, 5.
a person who is incognito.
the state of being incognito.
the disguise or character assumed by an incognito.
Origin of incognito
1630-40; < Italian < Latin incognitus unknown, equivalent to in- in-3 + cognitus, past participle of cognōscere to get to know; see cognition, know1
1. disguised, undisclosed, unidentified. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for incognito
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But I sincerely hope you do not impute improper motives to the incognito?

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • That this interview shall be secret; your Highness be incognito.'

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • They had put on disguises so as to preserve their incognito.

  • Again, perhaps, they were as much puzzled by her incognito as she was by theirs.

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • His incognito, which had as many holes as a sieve, was not meant to hide a personality but a fact.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for incognito


/ˌɪnkɒɡˈniːtəʊ; ɪnˈkɒɡnɪtəʊ/
adverb, adjective (postpositive)
under an assumed name or appearance; in disguise
noun (pl) -tos
a person who is incognito
the assumed name or disguise of such a person
Word Origin
C17: from Italian, from Latin incognitus unknown, from in-1 + cognitus known
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for incognito

1640s, from Italian incognito "unknown," especially in connection with traveling, from Latin incognitus "unknown," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + cognitus, past participle of cognoscere "to get to know" (see cognizance). Fem. form incognita was maintained through 19c. by those scrupulous about Latin. Incog was a common 18c. colloquial abbreviation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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