Definition of praenomen in US English:



  • An ancient Roman's first or personal name, for example Marcus Tullius Cicero.

    Compare with nomen, cognomen, agnomen
    • ‘Lots of Marks around, here and in Western Europe and that makes sense - Marcus was a common Roman praenomen (essentially the equivalent of a first name), and the Romans had very few such common names.’
    • ‘They seem to give the praenomen (personal name) Titus to the same man, and a Titus Petronius Niger is attested as consul on Herculaneum tablets.’
    • ‘‘Nothing…’ Nero lied, ignoring the use of his praenomen as a playful, boyishly immature slur.’
    • ‘Bring back Gaius as a good Latin praenomen, say I.’


Latin, from prae ‘before’ + nomen ‘name’.