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See more synonyms for cognate on Thesaurus.com
  1. related by birth; of the same parentage, descent, etc.
  2. Linguistics. descended from the same language or form: such cognate languages as French and Spanish.
  3. allied or similar in nature or quality.
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  1. a person or thing cognate with another.
  2. a cognate word: The English word cold is a cognate of German kalt.
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Origin of cognate

1635–45; < Latin cognātus, equivalent to co- co- + -gnātus (past participle of gnāscī, nāscī to be born)
Related formscog·nate·ness, nouncog·nat·ic [kog-nat-ik] /kɒgˈnæt ɪk/, adjectivenon·cog·nate, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cognatic

Historical Examples

  • The most elementary of these groups is the maegth, the association of agnatic and cognatic relations.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Part 1, Slice 1


  • Here again it will be convenient to employ the Roman terms, Agnatic and Cognatic relationship.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

  • The prohibition does not extend to cognatic relationship, but a man must not marry into the family of his paternal aunt.

  • This state of things however points to the prevalence of a cognatic organisation of society.

    The Heroic Age

    H. Munro Chadwick

  • This story seems to imply that cognatic organisation survived in Locris down to the beginning of the seventh century.

    The Heroic Age

    H. Munro Chadwick

British Dictionary definitions for cognatic


  1. akin; relatedcognate languages
  2. related by blood or descended from a common maternal ancestorCompare agnate
  3. cognate object grammar a noun functioning as the object of a verb to which it is etymologically related, as in think a thought or sing a song
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  1. something that is cognate with something else
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Derived Formscognately, adverbcognateness, nouncognation, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin cognātus, from co- same + gnātus born, variant of nātus, past participle of nāscī to be born
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

Word Origin and History for cognatic



1640s, from Latin cognatus "of common descent," from com- "together" (see co-) + gnatus, past participle of gnasci, older form of nasci "to be born" (see genus). Words that are cognates are cousins, not siblings. As a noun, from 1754.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper