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adjective co·gent \ˈkō-jənt\

Simple Definition of cogent

  • : very clear and easy for the mind to accept and believe

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cogent

  1. 1 :  having power to compel or constrain <cogent forces>

  2. 2 a :  appealing forcibly to the mind or reason :  convincing <cogent evidence> b :  pertinent, relevant <a cogent analysis>

cogently adverb

Examples of cogent in a sentence

  1. … Honeyboy Edwards provides a cogent analysis of the shift within the blues over the years … —David Hajdu, Mother Jones, September/October 2003

  2. Your article provides cogent reading. —Mario Cuomo, letter, U.S. News & World Report, 23 Mar. 1992

  3. Your arguments, whether or not one agrees with them, are generally cogent, and at times elegantly expressed. —Willard R. Espy, letter, Wall Street Journal, 24 Apr. 1990

  4. The author … makes a cogent and finely nuanced case for the wisdom—indeed, the necessity of this vision. —Marian Sandmaier, New York Times Book Review, 8 Feb. 1987

  5. <the results of the DNA fingerprinting were the most cogent evidence for acquittal>

Did You Know?

Trained, knowledgeable agents make cogent suggestions . . . that make sense to customers. It makes sense for us to include that comment from the president of a direct marketing consulting company because it provides such a nice opportunity to point out the etymological relationship between the words "cogent" and "agent." Agent derives from the Latin verb agere, which means "to drive," "to lead," or "to act." Adding the prefix co- to "agere" gave Latin cogere, a word that literally means "to drive together"; that ancient term ultimately gave English "cogent." Something that is cogent figuratively pulls together thoughts and ideas, and the cogency of an argument depends on the driving intellectual force behind it.

Origin of cogent

Latin cogent-, cogens, present participle of cogere to drive together, collect, from co- + agere to drive — more at agent

First Known Use: 1659

Synonym Discussion of cogent

valid, sound, cogent, convincing, telling mean having such force as to compel serious attention and usually acceptance. valid implies being supported by objective truth or generally accepted authority <a valid reason for being absent> <a valid marriage>. sound implies a basis of flawless reasoning or of solid grounds <a sound proposal for reviving the economy>. cogent may stress either weight of sound argument and evidence or lucidity of presentation <the prosecutor's cogent summation won over the jury>. convincing suggests a power to overcome doubt, opposition, or reluctance to accept <a convincing argument for welfare reform>. telling stresses an immediate and crucial effect striking at the heart of a matter <a telling example of bureaucratic waste>.

Seen and Heard

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to manage or play awkwardly

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disapprove soothe perplex reduce
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