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  1. (obsolete) first-person singular present indicative of cognoscere



From con- (prefix indicating completion) +‎ gnōscō (to know). Popular forms included 1) modifications to the prefix as cō- (like cōnīveō, cōnectō) and later unattested con- (like connīveō, connectō), and 2) modifications to the stem, with the vowel /ō/ replaced by /ē/ after -ēscō.

Alternative forms[edit]



cognōscō (present infinitive cognōscere, perfect active cognōvī, supine cognitum); third conjugation

  1. I learn, get to know
    • 100 BCE – 44 BCE, Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico 1.21:
      Eodem die ab exploratoribus certior factus hostes sub monte consedisse milia passuum ab ipsius castris octo, qualis esset natura montis et qualis in circuitu ascensus qui cognoscerent misit.
      Having been informed by explorers that the enemy had sat down at the feet of a mount about eight thousand paces away from his camp, he [Julius Caesar] sent men to know what the mount was like and what was its ascent.
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Ecclesiastes.3.12-13:
      Et cognovi quod non esset melius nisi laetari et facere bene in vita sua. / Omnis enim homo qui comedit et bibit et videt bonum de labore suo: hoc donum Dei est.
      And I learned that there's nothing better than to be happy and do good in one's life. Every person who eats and drinks and sees the fruit of work: this is God's gift.
  2. I am acquainted (with someone), I recognize
    • c. 194 BCE, Plautus, Poenulus 1130:
      Giddene(ne)s. "Cognoscin Giddenenem ancillam tuam?". Hanno. Novi.
      "Do you know Giddenes, your servant maid?" "I know her".
  3. (in perfect tense) I know
    • 86 BCEc. 35 BCE, Sallust, Jugurtha 79:
      Cyrenenses tardius iere. Id socordiane an casu adciderit, parum cognovi.
      The Cyrenians went late. I know little about whether this event of laziness truly happened.
    • 106 BCE – 43 BCE, Cicero, Ad Atticum 15.17:
      De consulum ficto timore cognoveram; Sicca enim φιλοστόργως ille quidem sed tumultuosius ad me etiam illam suspicionem pertulit.
      I knew about the consuls' imagined fear; our beloved man Sicca told me of course, even if rather disturbed, about that speculation too.
  4. I have sex with, (Biblical) to know
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Heroides 6.133-4:
      Turpiter illa virum cognovit adultera virgo; / me tibi, teque mihi, taeda pudica dedit.
      Shamelessly, she lied with a man as an adulterous virgin, (but) a chaste wedding torch gave me to you, and you to me.
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Genesis.4.1:
      Adam vero cognovit Havam uxorem suam, quae concepit et peperit Cain
      Adam knew his wife Eve, who conceived and gave birth to Cain


   Conjugation of cognōscō (third conjugation)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present cognōscō cognōscis cognōscit cognōscimus cognōscitis cognōscunt
imperfect cognōscēbam cognōscēbās cognōscēbat cognōscēbāmus cognōscēbātis cognōscēbant
future cognōscam cognōscēs cognōscet cognōscēmus cognōscētis cognōscent
perfect cognōvī cognōvistī, cognōstī1 cognōvit cognōvimus cognōvistis, cognōstis1 cognōvērunt, cognōvēre
pluperfect cognōveram cognōverās cognōverat cognōverāmus cognōverātis cognōverant
future perfect cognōverō cognōveris cognōverit cognōverimus cognōveritis cognōverint
passive present cognōscor cognōsceris, cognōscere cognōscitur cognōscimur cognōsciminī cognōscuntur
imperfect cognōscēbar cognōscēbāris, cognōscēbāre cognōscēbātur cognōscēbāmur cognōscēbāminī cognōscēbantur
future cognōscar cognōscēris, cognōscēre cognōscētur cognōscēmur cognōscēminī cognōscentur
perfect cognitus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect cognitus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect cognitus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present cognōscam cognōscās cognōscat cognōscāmus cognōscātis cognōscant
imperfect cognōscerem cognōscerēs cognōsceret cognōscerēmus cognōscerētis cognōscerent
perfect cognōverim cognōverīs cognōverit cognōverīmus cognōverītis cognōverint
pluperfect cognōvissem, cognōssem1 cognōvissēs, cognōssēs1 cognōvisset, cognōsset1 cognōvissēmus, cognōssēmus1 cognōvissētis, cognōssētis1 cognōvissent, cognōssent1
passive present cognōscar cognōscāris, cognōscāre cognōscātur cognōscāmur cognōscāminī cognōscantur
imperfect cognōscerer cognōscerēris, cognōscerēre cognōscerētur cognōscerēmur cognōscerēminī cognōscerentur
perfect cognitus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect cognitus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present cognōsce cognōscite
future cognōscitō cognōscitō cognōscitōte cognōscuntō
passive present cognōscere cognōsciminī
future cognōscitor cognōscitor cognōscuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives cognōscere cognōvisse, cognōsse1 cognitūrum esse cognōscī cognitum esse cognitum īrī
participles cognōscēns cognitūrus cognitus cognōscendus, cognōscundus
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
cognōscendī cognōscendō cognōscendum cognōscendō cognitum cognitū

1At least one rare poetic syncopated perfect form is attested.

Derived terms[edit]



  • cognosco in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cognosco in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cognosco in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to study Plato: Platonem legere et cognoscere
    • to hold an inquiry into a matter: aliquid, causam cognoscere
  • cognosco in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016