Definition of cognomen in English:

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Pronunciation: /käɡˈnōmən/ Pronunciation: /ˈkäɡnəmən/


1An extra personal name given to an ancient Roman citizen, functioning rather like a nickname and typically passed down from father to son. Compare with nomen, praenomen, agnomen.
Example sentences
  • A grateful Senate voted him the cognomen Augustus, by which name he is generally known in the history books.
  • Scipio received the cognomen Africanus and returned to Rome to celebrate a triumph.
  • ‘The name ‘Caesar’ is a cognomen, a nickname given to one member of a Roman clan and borne by his descendants as a kind of surname.
1.1A name; a nickname.
Example sentences
  • With the cant of abolitionism well amplified, Missourians took up the cognomen of Southerners more widely, yet still largely as a defense of the peculiar institution.
  • One of the new owners bears the cognomen of Mark and, as many people know, the Thai phrase that sounds a lot like ‘mark, mark’ means ‘much’ or ‘a lot of’.
  • The first revolver bearing the cognomen LadySmith was the Model M Hand Ejector of 1902.


Latin, from co- 'together with' + gnomen, nomen 'name'.

Words that rhyme with cognomen

nomen, praenomen, snowmen

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cog·no·men

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