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COGNOMEN. A Latin word, which signifies a family name. The praenomen among the Romans distinguished the person, the nomen, the gens, or all the kindred descended from a remote common stock through males, while the cognomen denoted the particular family. The agnomen was added on account of some particular event, as a further distinction. Thus, in the designation Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Publius is the proenomen, Cornelius is the nomen, Scipio the cognomen, and Africanus the agnomen. Vicat. These several terms occur frequently in the Roman laws. See Cas. temp. Hardw. 286; 1 Tayl. 148. See Name; Surname.