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
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.