Definition of cognate in English:


Syllabification: cog·nate
Pronunciation: /ˈkägˌnāt


  • 1 Linguistics (Of a word) having the same linguistic derivation as another; from the same original word or root (e.g., English is, German ist, Latin est, from Indo-European esti).
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    • English mother and German Mutter are cognate words.
    • There is an interesting but short section on the local adaptive value of cultural rules including dialects and cognate words.
    • However, many linguists think he chose cognate terms too broadly to bolster his reconstruction.
  • 2 formal Related; connected: cognate subjects such as physics and chemistry
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    • His book deals with memes and other cognate subjects less frivolously and with much more academic rigour than I can muster.
    • What we need is a conceptual ‘map’ that allows us to think through where ‘animation’ lies in relation to cognate subject areas.
    • Interferences with the amenities of land and personal injuries arising during the use of land are cognate subjects.
  • 2.1Related to or descended from a common ancestor. Compare with agnate.
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    • The separation of childbearing from domesticity leads to a need for extended families, which are primarily cognate kin groups.


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  • 1 Linguistics A cognate word.
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    • It's a very old word, with cognates in most Germanic languages.
    • The word neshama is a cognate of nesheema, which means literally ‘breath.’
    • More than a dozen words and cognates are employed throughout the Old Testament for beauty.
  • 2 Law A blood relative.
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    • All distinction between agnates and cognates in matters of succession had been abolished at the very time when the great collection of Roman law had been assembled and codified.
    • A kin group usually includes cognates of all degrees and godparents.



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  • Decisions relating to the two acts are often given effect in Excise and Customs Tariff Proposals that are tabled cognately in Parliament.
  • Second and cognately, there's the Paradox of Analysis: Conceptual analysis is supposed to be somehow informative or enlightening.
  • Hypocrisy is the pretension to qualities which one does not possess, or, more cognately, the putting forward of a false appearance of virtue or religion.


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  • This is a question related to the cognateness of a faculty's programs and mission, which is discussed briefly below.
  • Using the same evolutionist principles of cognateness and continuity, he attempted to reconstruct a common Ur-Germanic mythology.
  • Much rather may we hold with scholars like Delitzsch and Kittel, that the relation is one of cognateness, not of derivation.


early 17th century: from Latin cognatus, from co- 'together with' + natus 'born'.

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