• synonyms


or pre·no·men

[pree-noh-muh n]
noun, plural prae·nom·i·na [pree-nom-uh-nuh, -noh-muh-] /priˈnɒm ə nə, -ˈnoʊ mə-/, prae·no·mens.
  1. the first or personal name of a Roman citizen, as “Gaius” in “Gaius Julius Caesar.”
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Origin of praenomen

1655–65; < Latin praenōmen, equivalent to prae- prae- + nōmen name
Related formsprae·nom·i·nal [pree-nom-uh-nl] /priˈnɒm ə nl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for praenomen

Historical Examples

  • It is impossible to discover even his full name, Gaius or Caius being merely the personal name (praenomen) so common in Rome.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 4


  • His person more than justified his praenomen, for Mr. Harper Freeman, Jr., was undeniably fat.

    Corporal Cameron

    Ralph Connor

  • Such a praenomen carries with it suggestions of a rich brogue rather than a nasal drawl.

  • Titus is here the first name (praenomen) which was given sons on the ninth day after their birth.

  • The name of the month in which he was born was changed to Julius, from his praenomen, and we still retain the name.

British Dictionary definitions for praenomen


noun plural -nomina (-ˈnɒmɪnə) or -nomens
  1. an ancient Roman's first or given nameSee also agnomen, cognomen, nomen
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Derived Formspraenominal (priːˈnɒmɪnəl), adjectivepraenominally, adverb

Word Origin

C18: from Latin, from prae- before + 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

Word Origin and History for praenomen


from Latin praenomen, literally "before the name," from prae- (see pre-) + nomen (see name (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper