co·​gno·​scen·​te ˌkän-yə-ˈshen-tē How to pronounce cognoscente (audio)
-ˈsen- How to pronounce cognoscente (audio)
plural cognoscenti ˌkän-yə-ˈshen-tē How to pronounce cognoscente (audio)
: a person who has expert knowledge in a subject : connoisseur
a computer cognoscente
a cognoscente of the art world

Did you know?

Cognoscente and connoisseur are more than synonyms; they're also linguistic cousins. Both terms descend from the Latin verb cognōscere, meaning "to know," and they're not alone. You might guess that cognizance and cognition are members of the cognōscere clan. Do you also recognize a family resemblance in recognize? Can you see through the disguise of incognito? Did you have a premonition that we would mention precognition? Cognoscente itself came to English by way of Italian and has been a part of the language since the late 1700s.

Examples of cognoscente in a Sentence

a cognoscente of medieval painting cognoscenti in the art world knew that most of the works being auctioned off were second-rate stuff
Recent Examples on the Web When Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992, with right field shadowed by a brick warehouse evoking urban stadiums of a bygone era, architectural critics and the baseball cognoscente were nearly moved to poetry in declaring the stadium a home run. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2023 Covington's cognoscente, epicures, glitterati, and connoisseurs all met at Grand Tasting 2018, part of the week-long celebration A Taste of Covington sponsored by the Covington Business Association. Ann Benoit,, 6 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cognoscente.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Italian (now spelled conoscente), from cognoscente, conoscente adjective, "knowing," from present participle of cognoscere, conoscere "to know, have knowledge of," going back to Latin cognōscere "to get to know, acquire knowledge of" — more at cognition

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cognoscente was in 1776


Dictionary Entries Near cognoscente

Cite this Entry

“Cognoscente.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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