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
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.
Examples of cogent in a Sentence
… Honeyboy Edwards provides a cogent analysis of the shift within the blues over the years …— David Hajdu, Mother Jones, September/October 2003Your article provides cogent reading.— Mario Cuomo, letterU.S. News & World Report, 23 Mar. 1992Your arguments, whether or not one agrees with them, are generally cogent, and at times elegantly expressed.— Willard R. Espy, letterWall Street Journal, 24 Apr. 1990The 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
the results of the DNA fingerprinting were the most cogent evidence for acquittal
Recent Examples on the WebCooking shows were still grasping for a cogent identity in those days.
Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, 16 Nov. 2021 Too wasted and distracted to make a cogent argument.
Judy Gold, CNN, 12 Nov. 2021 Which never really seemed like a very cogent argument to me but has become a cliché.
Justin Davidson And Alissa Walker, Curbed, 5 Oct. 2021 The hashtag #RushTok, which dominated TikTok heavily last month, served as a cogent reminder of the hazing violence, exclusionary practices, and protests that have happened within the fraternity and sorority community.
Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 23 Sep. 2021 The Democratic Party reigns in California largely because its Republicans have long since ceased to offer cogent or even respectable solutions to its many problems.
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2021 Philbrick’s reporting is cogent and impressively detailed as long as Washington remains the central character.
Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2021 The mandate has a cogent rationale; your company’s scofflaw managers aren’t merely behaving irresponsibly toward their employees and their families (including unvaccinated children) but are weakening a norm.
Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 17 Aug. 2021 The lyrics are too cogent and the melodies too distinct and succinct for that.
Chris Willman, Variety, 19 Aug. 2021
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cogent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
borrowed from Latin cōgent-, cōgens, present participle of cōgere "to drive together, gather, compress, force, compel," from co-, variant before a vowel and h of com-com- + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do" — more at agent