co·​gno·​scen·​te | \ˌkän-yə-ˈshen-tē, ˌkäg-nə-, -ˈsen- \
plural cognoscenti\ˌkän-​yə-​ˈshen-​tē, ˌkäg-​nə-​, -​ˈsen-​ \

Definition of cognoscente 

: a person who has expert knowledge in a subject : connoisseur a computer cognoscente a cognoscente of the art world

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cognoscente


ace, adept, artist, authority, connoisseur, crackerjack (also crackajack), dab [chiefly British], dab hand [chiefly British], expert, fiend, geek, guru, hand, hotshot, maestro, master, maven (also mavin), meister, past master, proficient, scholar, shark, sharp, virtuoso, whiz, wizard


amateur, inexpert, nonexpert

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Did You Know?

Cognoscente and "connoisseur" are more than synonyms; they're also linguistic cousins. Both terms descend from the Latin verb cognoscere, meaning "to know," and they're not alone. You might guess that "cognizance" and "cognition" are members of the "cognoscere" 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 our 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

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,, "Taste of Covington takes guests on world tour of food and spirits," 6 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cognoscente.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cognoscente

1776, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cognoscente

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

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Time Traveler for cognoscente

The first known use of cognoscente was in 1776

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Comments on cognoscente

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to enclose within walls

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