Definition of cognoscenti in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌkɒɡnəˈʃɛnti/ /ˌkɒnjəˈʃɛnti/

plural noun

People who are especially well informed about a particular subject: it’s worth taking a tip from the fashion cognoscenti
More example sentences
  • The fashion cognoscenti and music lovers were out in force last night for two great parties.
  • His fledgling fashion cognoscenti have accessorised the theme with, among other things, suspenders and pink, fluffy rabbit ears.
  • It's only a matter of time before the fashion cognoscenti are once more clamouring for this particular brand of undeniable elegance.


Late 18th century: Italian, literally 'people who know', from Latin cognoscent- 'getting to know', from the verb cognoscere.

  • quaint from Middle English:

    In the Middle Ages quaint meant ‘wise, clever’, and ‘ingenious, cunningly designed, or skilfully made’. Another early sense was ‘beautiful or elegant’. Over time these meanings led to the more general notion of ‘out of the ordinary’. The current use, describing something interestingly unusual or old-fashioned, is found from the late 18th century—before this, the word had become quite rare. It comes from Old French cointe, from Latin cognoscere ‘to know’, which is the root of words such as acquaint (Middle English), literally ‘to make known to’; cognoscenti (late 18th century) from Italian for ‘those who know’; incognito; and recognize.

Words that rhyme with cognoscenti

al dente, aplenty, divertimenti, lisente, plenty, portamenti, sente, twenty, twenty-twenty, venti

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: co¦gnos|centi

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.