co·​gent | \ ˈkō-jənt How to pronounce cogent (audio) \

Definition of cogent

1a : appealing forcibly to the mind or reason : convincing cogent evidence
b : pertinent, relevant a cogent analysis
2 : having power to compel or constrain cogent forces

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Other Words from cogent

cogently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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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 2003 Your article provides cogent reading. — Mario Cuomo, letter U.S. News & World Report23 Mar. 1992 Your arguments, whether or not one agrees with them, are generally cogent, and at times elegantly expressed. — Willard R. Espy, letter Wall Street Journal24 Apr. 1990 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 the results of the DNA fingerprinting were the most cogent evidence for acquittal
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Recent Examples on the Web

So while Brennan and Clapper’s criticisms of Trump are cogent, Trump has weaponized the intelligence community’s lack of credibility and turned it on his critics, with a fair amount of success. Jefferson Morley, The New Republic, "Democrats Are Trapped in Trump’s “Deep State” War," 16 Sep. 2019 The audience responded enthusiastically because the thinking was so rewardingly cogent. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, "Mike Daisey scores big in an uneven ‘curated’ series at Capital Fringe Festival," 10 July 2019 The cogent overview of Wells Fargo, still without a CEO, and the keening article about the 1619 Celebration in Hampton, Va., provided context and clarity that immediately took me to the heart of these issues. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Make good use of the next couple of months: renegotiate trash in St. Paul," 29 Aug. 2019 So far, that division has been most noticeable on healthcare, which formed a big part of both debates, with Tuesday night being the more cogent discussion. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, "Three big questions for the Democratic presidential field," 2 Aug. 2019 Prominent politicos groused during the first night of the debate that the format left them unsatisfied: too many candidates, too little time for cogent answers, and too many big issues not getting enough attention. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "5 things we learned from the Detroit Democratic debates," 1 Aug. 2019 Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur from New York, was cogent and displayed a remarkable ability to redirect all questions towards his signature campaign pledge: universal basic income for Americans. I.k. | Washington, The Economist, "Joe Biden comes under fire in the second Democratic debate," 1 Aug. 2019 Bakari Sellers, a Democratic strategist and former South Carolina state lawmaker, said the party will need to find a cogent message to ensure black voters turn out to the polls in November 2020. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Democrats unified against Donald Trump's racist tweets but remain divided over race," 20 July 2019 Adès has written cogent program notes for them, but they weren’t included. Mark Swed,, "Review: Thomas Adès’ spectacular ‘Inferno’ gets the Wayne McGregor and Tacita Dean touch," 14 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of cogent

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for cogent

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

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for cogent

The first known use of cogent was in 1659

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English Language Learners Definition of cogent

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cogent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cogent

Spanish Central: Translation of cogent

Nglish: Translation of cogent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cogent for Arabic Speakers

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