Share this entry

cognomen Line breaks: cog|no¦men
Pronunciation: /kɒɡˈnəʊmən/

Definition of cognomen in English:


1An extra personal name given to an ancient Roman citizen, functioning rather like a nickname and typically passed down from father to son, for example Marcus Tullius Cicero. 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 or 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

Definition of cognomen in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...