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

Since that time, it’s gone through many iterations so that the current version is more cogent — and still very impossible-but-kinda-true. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "Theater review: Lots of reasons to experience ‘Archduke’," 13 June 2019 As for its letters page per se, overly male or not, the Times does a decent job of running missives that are thoughtful, cogent, and well expressed. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 The Twilight Zone, that paragon of cogent speculative storytelling, has been stretched out into a flabby, hour-long format by CBS All Access. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The TV Is Too Damn Long," 9 June 2019 But, for Trump and Trumpism to be rendered an unnerving but short-lived episode, history will require more than cogent critique. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump and the Stress Test of Liberal Democracy," 13 Mar. 2017 Campbell Chairman Les Vinney criticized Third Point last week for lacking a cogent plan or new ideas and said Third Point’s only goal is to sell the company. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Third Point Wants Campbell to Explore a Split," 30 Oct. 2018 Thank you for the explanation, that cogent explanation. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Elites like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos think they’re being philanthropic. But they could do so much more.," 3 Oct. 2018 The fact that no one really notices is one of Mr. Bujalski’s very cogent points. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Support the Girls’ Review: Social Consciousness at the Saloon," 23 Aug. 2018 In our hour-long interview, the CEO gave cogent and detailed answers to all my technical questions. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why millions of lasers on a chip could be the future of lidar," 8 Nov. 2018

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

17 Jun 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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something desired as essential

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