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From Latin cognātus ‎(related by blood), from nātus ‎(born).



cognate ‎(not comparable)

  1. Allied by blood; kindred by birth; specifically (law) related on the mother's side.
  2. Of the same or a similar nature; of the same family; proceeding from the same stock or root; allied; kindred.
  3. (linguistics) Either descended from the same attested source lexeme of an ancestor language, or held on the grounds of the methods of historical linguistics to be regular reflexes of the unattested, reconstructed form of a proto-language.
    English mother is cognate with Greek μητέρα ‎(mitéra), German Mutter, Russian мать ‎(matʹ) and Persian مادر ‎(madar).
    In English, queen is cognate with quean, both of which are cognate with Russian жена́ ‎(žená), Icelandic kona and Irish bean.
    English shirt is cognate with English skirt, short, and curt and with German kurz and French court ; all of these are descended from the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)ker-, meaning ‘to cut’.

Usage notes[edit]

"Cognate to" is much less common than "cognate with" and not even mentioned in most dictionaries.


Derived terms[edit]


cognate ‎(plural cognates)

  1. One of a number of things allied in origin or nature.
  2. (law, dated) One who is related to another on the female side.
  3. (law, dated) One who is related to another, both having descended from a common ancestor through legal marriages.
  4. A word either descended from the same base word of the same ancestor language as the given word, or strongly believed to be a regular reflex of the same reconstructed root of proto-language as the given word.
    English mother is a cognate of Greek μητέρα ‎(mitéra), German Mutter, Russian мать ‎(matʹ) and Persian مادر ‎(mâdar).
    English queen and quean, Russian жена́ ‎(žená), Icelandic kona and Irish bean are all cognates.


Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]



cognate f

  1. plural of cognata




  1. vocative masculine singular of cognātus