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

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

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 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
Recent Examples on the Web Have a cogent understanding of your organization's business practices and security issues and look at the potential risks of changing those processes to include AI/ML tools. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 19 May 2022 Bizarre and wrongheaded statements are protected by the First Amendment just as cogent and thoughtful ones are. Ronald Sullivan, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 Alexander-Walker had just landed from a flight when speaking to media, but showed an impressive ability to give cogent thoughts on his season and the offseason to come while on the move through the airport. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 May 2022 While each has some cogent arguments on its side, Biden's position is stronger. Damon Linker, The Week, 27 Apr. 2022 This is, at best, an incomplete definition—hardly even a passable use of TED’s thought-leader airtime, much less a cogent rationale for a takeover bid equivalent to the G.D.P. of Turkmenistan. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2022 Greene has crafted a cogent narrative of how constitutional rights have evolved over the course of US history, as well as a strong defense of proportionality. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, 6 Apr. 2022 Whoever the committee hires to help craft its narrative will face the daunting task of turning months of material into a cogent report. Gloria Borger, CNN, 18 Mar. 2022 The account reposts low-res images, repeats the same photos and videos of herself, and writes in a style that veers from cogent and funny to indecipherable. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cogent

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for cogent

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

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cogent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of cogent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cogent for Arabic Speakers


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