Definition of incognito in English:
- The road to perversion is cast with such anonymous faces, individuals incognito.
- With distinction and excellence writ large over their existence, even when they are forced to live incognito lives, their brilliance soon gives them away and the rest of the less endowed people are soon after their blood.
- With the president said to spend no more than one or two nights in the same place, to travel incognito and even to employ mustachioed, cigar-chomping lookalikes, this could prove easier said than done.
noun (plural incognitos)Back to top
- William thinks it's farcical and plays it up but amongst friends incognitos are simply unfunny bores.
- Leach is a minor character and the fact that Larsen effortlessly penetrated his incognito has no central plot significance.
- The incognito of lower class employment is an effective cloak for any dagger one might wish to hide.
The word incognito, ‘having your true identity concealed’, came from Italian in the mid 17th century. The Latin root is cognoscere ‘to know’ ( see also quaint). At first incognito could mean simply ‘unknown’, without any implication of disguise or concealment, and was used mainly of royals or dignitaries who did not want to be recognized. In the 20th century the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan ( 1927–80) wrote, ‘The disguise…renders him as effectively incognito as a walrus in a ballet-skirt’.
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