Definition of cognomen in English:


Syllabification: cog·no·men
Pronunciation: /kägˈnōmən, ˈkägnəmən


  • 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.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

More definitions of cognomen

Definition of cognomen in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space