Definition of agnomen in English:



  • A fourth name occasionally given as an honour to an ancient Roman citizen.

    ‘he earned the agnomen 'Coriolanus' by conspicuous bravery in battle’
    Compare with nomen, cognomen, praenomen
    • ‘Despite his mystical belief in his luck (hence his agnomen Felix), despite his arrogance and ruthlessness, Sulla never aimed at permanent tyranny.’
    • ‘The author Petronius adds an "-anus" to his proud agnomen and exposes the ostentatious front of his hero, revealing his slave ancestry.’
    • ‘Marcius was the only man in Roman history to serve as censor twice, a feat for which he earned the agnomen Censorinus.’
    • ‘The agnomen Asricanus was bestowed upon Publius Cornelius Scipio, on account of his great achievements in Africa.’
    • ‘Men acquired names from some notable action or occurrence; such was the agnomen, and frequently the cognomen, of the Romans.’


Mid 17th century: Latin, from ad ‘to’ + gnomen, nomen ‘name’.