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noun cog·no·men \käg-ˈnō-mən, ˈkäg-nə-\
plural cognomens or cog·no·mi·na \käg-ˈnä-mə-nə, -ˈnō-\

Definition of COGNOMEN

:  surname; especially :  the third of usually three names borne by a male citizen of ancient Rome — compare nomen, praenomen
:  name; especially :  a distinguishing nickname or epithet
cog·nom·i·nal \käg-ˈnä-mə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of COGNOMEN

  1. <richly deserved the cognomen of Butterfingers>
  2. <Christopher Columbus is the Latinized cognomen of the navigator who was known to his Spanish crewmates as Cristóbal Colón>

Origin of COGNOMEN

Latin, irregular from co- + nomen name — more at name
First Known Use: 1691


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