Word: cogent

Pronunciation: KOH-jənt

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: clear, logical, and convincing

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Today’s Word of the Week is highly applicable to my line of study. After formulating theories or attaining results, scientists have to know how to defend their findings in a manner that’s logical and convincing. The ability to form “cogent” arguments is an important skill for every academic, as it is for any writer hoping to successfully pitch a big story!

A “cogent” argument or case is logical and clear enough to be convincing. The word arose in the mid 17th century and comes from the Latin verb cogere, meaning “to compel”. This verb is composed of the preposition com “together” and the verb agere “to drive”.

Though I haven’t yet read it much in fiction, “cogent” is definitely a word I’d like to work more into my stories. With all the experience I have reading researchers’ discussions in scientific papers, I could have fun writing logical cases and arguments in my fiction. If you write plenty of debates and discussions among your characters, “cogent” may be a good word to describe their best arguments! Good luck!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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