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 Zuckerberg laid out a cogent and robust roadmap for Facebook's privacy journey in 2011 after the company's first agreement with the FTC, including hiring Egan to join the team. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Facebook Promises Privacy Reform. Critics Aren't Convinced," 22 Oct. 2020 Cziner achieves a seamless, yet cogent, combination of the various influences. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Two area ensembles trace modern classical music’s spirit of innovation," 20 Oct. 2020 More cogent are the words of San Francisco Symphony principal oboist Eugene Izotov (formerly of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) on Tilson Thomas' impact on young musicians via the New World Symphony. Howard Reich,, "Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas emerges anew on ‘American Masters’," 19 Oct. 2020 Klenert was then in her nineties, frail and white-haired, but utterly cogent. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, "How I Met the Reclusive Georgia O’Keeffe," 1 Oct. 2020 Some of the speakers this week made cogent arguments and landed what seemed to be telling blows on Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "A convention for the party of one," 27 Aug. 2020 For more approachable guidelines, including checklists for school staff and parents, the World Health Organization and its partners have produced a good document that's cogent and easy to read. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "What experts are saying about opening schools amid COVID-19," 26 Aug. 2020 There also has been no cogent philosophy: Thomas Tuchel, its coach, is expected to craft a team from the materials he has been handed. Rory Smith, New York Times, "P.S.G. wins, 3-0, and reaches its first Champions League final.," 18 Aug. 2020 Ahead of the first of his team's two games against the Heat this past week, Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner offered some cogent thoughts about the NBA's messaging about social justice inside the Disney bubble. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Time to take stock amid Heat’s bubble wrap | Commentary," 15 Aug. 2020

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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The first known use of cogent was in 1659

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cogent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for cogent


How to pronounce cogent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cogent

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

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