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[kog-noh-muh n]
See more synonyms for cognomen on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural cog·no·mens, cog·nom·i·na [kog-nom-uh-nuh] /kɒgˈnɒm ə nə/.
  1. a surname.
  2. any name, especially a nickname.
  3. the third and commonly the last name of a citizen of ancient Rome, indicating the person's house or family, as “Caesar” in “Gaius Julius Caesar.”Compare agnomen(def 1).
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Origin of cognomen

1800–10; < Latin, equivalent to co- co- + nōmen name, with -g- on model of nōscī: cognōscī; see cognition
Related formscog·nom·i·nal [kog-nom-uh-nuh l, -noh-muh-] /kɒgˈnɒm ə nəl, -ˈnoʊ mə-/, adjectivecog·nom·i·nal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cognomen

handle, title, epithet, surname, moniker, nickname

Examples from the Web for cognomen

Historical Examples of cognomen

  • Swamp Fox was the cognomen bestowed on Marion by the British.

    Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848


  • The cognomen was put last, and marked the family; as Cicero, Csar.

  • But when you and I are talking, let us give the Italian cognomen a rest.

    A Pirate of Parts

    Richard Neville

  • In these parts I know only one person who carries that cognomen—one Charles Clancy.

    The Death Shot

    Mayne Reid

  • Unlearn him his own cognomen,—teach him another name,—too late, too late.

British Dictionary definitions for cognomen


noun plural -nomens or -nomina (-ˈnɒmɪnə, -ˈnəʊ-)
  1. (originally) an ancient Roman's third name or nickname, which later became his family nameSee also agnomen, nomen, praenomen
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Derived Formscognominal (kɒɡˈnɒmɪnəl, -ˈnəʊ-), adjectivecognominally, adverb

Word Origin for cognomen

C19: from Latin: additional name, from co- together + nōmen name; influenced in form by cognōscere to learn
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 cognomen


1809, from Latin com- "with" (see co-) + (g)nomen "name" (see name (n.)). Third or family name of a Roman citizen (Caius Julius Cæsar).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper