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[kog-noh-muh n] /kɒgˈnoʊ mən/
noun, plural cognomens, cognomina
[kog-nom-uh-nuh] /kɒgˈnɒm ə nə/ (Show IPA)
a surname.
any name, especially a nickname.
the third and commonly the last name of a citizen of ancient Rome, indicating the person's house or family, as “Caesar” in “Gaius Julius Caesar.”.
Compare agnomen (def 1).
Origin of cognomen
1800-10; < Latin, equivalent to co- co- + nōmen name, with -g- on model of nōscī: cognōscī; see cognition
Related forms
[kog-nom-uh-nuh l, -noh-muh-] /kɒgˈnɒm ə nəl, -ˈnoʊ mə-/ (Show IPA),
cognominally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cognomen
Historical Examples
  • She inquired my name, and I repeated the plain, homely Scotch-Irish cognomen that had been handed down to me by my forefathers.

    The Long Day Dorothy Richardson
  • Perhaps the cognomen had something to do with her subordinate position.

    A College Girl Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • The tintorera owes its cognomen to a singular peculiarity, which reveals his presence providentially to afar off.

    The Treasure of Pearls Gustave Aimard
  • Nelson had worked for an Englishman at Elizabethville and acquired his cognomen.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • Swamp Fox was the cognomen bestowed on Marion by the British.

  • More than ever now did she cling to that cognomen of which she was so proud.

    Prince Zilah, Complete Jules Claretie
  • Afterwards the enemy was taken by him, he retaining the cognomen of "Archibald Bell-the-cat."

  • I take him to be a Cornelius rather than an Ælius, because of the cognomen.

  • Qutb of Srwn may be the Qutb Khn of earlier mention without the cognomen.

    The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • By adopting the cognomen of Habrodiaitos, or high-liver, he brought upon himself the nickname of Rhabdodiaitos, or brush-man.

    History of Ancient Art Franz von Reber
British Dictionary definitions for cognomen


noun (pl) -nomens, -nomina (-ˈnɒmɪnə; -ˈnəʊ-)
(originally) an ancient Roman's third name or nickname, which later became his family name See also agnomen, nomen, praenomen
Derived Forms
cognominal (kɒɡˈnɒmɪnəl; -ˈnəʊ-) adjective
cognominally, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: additional name, from co- together + nōmen name; influenced in form by cognōscere to learn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cognomen

1809, from Latin com- "with" (see co-) + (g)nomen "name" (see name (n.)). Third or family name of a Roman citizen (Caius Julius Cæsar).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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