Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Borrowed from Latin cognōmen.


  • (US) IPA(key): /kɒɡˈnoʊ.mən/
  • Hyphenation: cog‧no‧men


cognomen (plural cognomens or cognomina)

  1. Surname.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      "Five hundred years or more afterwards, the family migrated to Rome under circumstances of which no trace remains, and here, probably with the idea of preserving the idea of vengeance which we find set out in the name of Tisisthenes, they appear to have pretty regularly assumed the cognomen of Vindex, or Avenger."
    • 2018 December 23, Dragons' Den:
      What's in a name? Well, to the Dragons, it would seem rather a lot, as they've tonight committed their cash to personalised products and to the man with the most famous cognomen in confectionery. I'll leave you to look that one up.
  2. (historical, Ancient Rome) The third part of the name of a citizen of Ancient Rome.
    • 2007, David Potter, chapter 1, in The Emperors of Rome, page 36:
      Roman tradition suggests that he might also have had the cognomen Octavian to indicate his biological family.
  3. A nickname or epithet by which someone is identified.
    Synonyms: byname, moniker, sobriquet
    • 1820, Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, published 1864:
      In this by-place of nature, there abode, in a remote period of American history, that is to say, some thirty years since, a worthy wight of the name of Ichabod Crane; who sojourned, or, as he expressed it, "tarried," in Sleepy Hollow []. The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]



From con- (together, with) +‎ nōmen (name). The g is from false association with cognōscō (recognize).



cognōmen n (genitive cognōminis); third declension

  1. surname
  2. third part of a formal name
  3. an additional name derived from some characteristic


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative cognōmen cognōmina
Genitive cognōminis cognōminum
Dative cognōminī cognōminibus
Accusative cognōmen cognōmina
Ablative cognōmine cognōminibus
Vocative cognōmen cognōmina

Related terms[edit]


  • Catalan: cognom
  • English: cognomen
  • French: cognomen
  • Italian: cognome


  • cognomen in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cognomen in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cognomen in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • cognomen in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • cognomen in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cognomen in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin