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[ag-noh-muh n]
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noun, plural ag·nom·i·na [ag-nom-uh-nuh] /ægˈnɒm ə nə/.
  1. an additional, fourth name given to a person by the ancient Romans in allusion to some achievement or other circumstance, as “Africanus” in “Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus.”Compare cognomen(def 3).
  2. a nickname.
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Origin of agnomen

1745–55; < Late Latin, equivalent to ad- ad- + nōmen name, with alteration to ag- through influence of agnōscere; see agnize
Related formsag·nom·i·nal [ag-nom-uh-nl] /ægˈnɒm ə nl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for agnomen

Historical Examples

  • I was a little anxious to know whether her ladyship would honour me with an agnomen.

    Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)

    Maria Edgeworth

  • Most Latin authors have three names—the prenomen, which answers to our Christian name; the nomen, or family name; and the agnomen.

    How to Catalogue a Library

    Henry B. (Henry Benjamin) Wheatley

  • Latin authors to be registered under their nomens, except in those cases where the agnomen has been popularly adopted.

    How to Catalogue a Library

    Henry B. (Henry Benjamin) Wheatley

  • To counteract the confusion that would inevitably arise, an agnomen or "tee-name" is usually appended.

  • Sometimes there was also a fourth name, called the agnomen, added from some illustrious action, or remarkable event.

British Dictionary definitions for agnomen


noun plural -nomina (-ˈnɒmɪnə)
  1. the fourth name or second cognomen occasionally acquired by an ancient RomanSee also cognomen, nomen, praenomen
  2. another word for nickname
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Derived Formsagnominal (æɡˈnɒmɪnəl), adjective

Word Origin

C18: from Late Latin, from ad- in addition to + nōmen name
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