AskDefine | Define cog

Dictionary Definition

cog n : tooth on the rim of gear wheel [syn: sprocket]


1 roll steel ingots
2 join pieces of wood with cogs [also: cogging, cogged]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) , /kɒɡ/, /kQg/
  • (US) , /kɑɡ/, /kAg/
    Rhymes: -ɒɡ

Etymology 1

Middle English cogge or kogge (14th century), Old French cogue or coque, Middle Low German kogge, Middle Dutch cogghe, Middle High German kocke, German kock (15th century).


  1. A ship of burden, or war with a round, bulky hull.

Etymology 2

Middle English cogge; confer Swedish kugge and Norwegian kug of same sense. Nonetheless, the exact relation between the English and the Scandinavian words can't be determined. The meaning of "cog" in carpentry derives from association with a tooth on a cogwheel.


  1. A tooth on a gear
  2. A gear; a cogwheel
  3. A unimportant individual in a greater system.
    • 1976, Norman Denny (English translation), Victor Hugo (original French), Les Misérables
      ‘There are twenty-five of us, but they don’t reckon I’m worth anything. I’m just a cog in the machine.’
    • 1988, David Mamet, Speed-the-Plow
      Your boss tells you “take initiative,” you best guess right—and you do, then you get no credit. Day-in, ... smiling, smiling, just a cog.
  4. a projection or tenon at the end of a beam designed to fit into a matching opening of another piece of wood to form a joint
a tooth on a gear
a gear; a cogwheel
an unimportant individual
carpentry: a projection or tenon
Derived terms

Etymology 3

Uncertain origin. Both verb and noun appear first in 1532.


  1. an act of cogging


  1. to cheat at dice
  2. to cheat; to play or gamble fraudulently

Etymology 4


  1. A spelling variant of the noun cogue.

Scottish Gaelic


cog (present participle a' cogadh, simple past chog, past participle air chogadh)
  1. to fight, to war

Extensive Definition

Cog may refer to:
COG is an acronym for:

See also

cog in German: COG
cog in French: COG
cog in Italian: COG

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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