Definition of cognoscenti in US English:


plural noun

  • People who are considered to be especially well informed about a particular subject.

    ‘it was hailed by the cognoscenti as one of the best golf courses in Europe’
    • ‘He made the surprising admission, once known only to the cognoscenti, that he was a lawyer.’
    • ‘These things are recognised by the cognoscenti but not by anybody else.’
    • ‘With the exception of a few bookshop cognoscenti with whom he talked, his intelligence seemed strictly a private matter, existing for its own sake.’
    • ‘The chief purpose of language is to communicate effectively, not to provide entertainment to the cognoscenti.’
    • ‘It is the fashion among the cognoscenti to belittle the glorious history and traditions of this island and its people.’
    • ‘The fashion cognoscenti and music lovers were out in force last night for two great parties.’
    • ‘This winning combination, plus a willingness to play fast and loose with her image, has made her the darling of the fashion cognoscenti.’
    • ‘From being a cult author, revered by the crime cognoscenti, he was suddenly in the bestseller lists.’
    • ‘His fledgling fashion cognoscenti have accessorised the theme with, among other things, suspenders and pink, fluffy rabbit ears.’
    • ‘He has been appointed to draw up a shortlist of suitable candidates for what is regarded among the cognoscenti as the ultimate job in Scottish arts.’
    • ‘They are the ones known intimately by cartoon cognoscenti, often memorized line-for-line and take-for-take, recited in unison by gleeful aficionados.’
    • ‘This trend towards a total cost of ownership storage sale is recognized by storage cognoscenti nationwide.’
    • ‘The punk rock cognoscenti, of which Lydon was a key member, insisted that the movement peaked in 1976, and the following year merely marketed the sell-out.’
    • ‘That's why, among the cognoscenti of the sport, there has never been a swimming meet more keenly anticipated than the 2004 Athens Olympics.’
    • ‘It's only a matter of time before the fashion cognoscenti are once more clamouring for this particular brand of undeniable elegance.’
    • ‘Instinctively talented, he rose from the depth of poverty in the mid-1990s to dazzle the fashion cognoscenti.’
    • ‘There are also diaries graced with pseudonymous titles which do nothing to conceal their authors' identities, at least from the rest of Fleet Street's cognoscenti.’
    • ‘What hope is there for the general, curious reader when the cognoscenti are inhabitants of this Babel?’
    • ‘Many of the cognoscenti of the arts community were gathered, eager to discover what exactly the minister had in store.’
    • ‘It exposes the strategic and cultural gulf this country has created inside the national security cognoscenti.’
    intellectuals, intelligent people, academics, scholars, learned people, literati, culturati, men and women of letters, illuminati, highbrows, bluestockings, thinkers, brains
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Late 18th century: Italian, literally ‘people who know’, from Latin cognoscent- ‘getting to know’, from the verb cognoscere.