I find myself wanting to say that two things have their beginning together (not necessarily in time). The word coterminous came to mind, but that is the opposite of what I'm trying to say. I thought of simultaneous, but that is too punctiliar (whereas I want to express something more enduring, as implied by the word coterminous) and perhaps a little too time-laden.

So, for example:

To know the truth and to begin to know that you know the truth are <things-originating-inseparably>.

Is there a single English word for this?

  • 1
    Cognate means 'born together'. The etymology is shown here. Mostly it's used for words that come from the same original source, like father and paternal, but there's no reason why it couldn't be used for other concepts, if they spring from a common source. Commented May 9, 2014 at 23:11
  • Just a note: Coterminous does not mean "having the same ending" even it looks like that, so the antonym of coterminous does not suggest "having the same beginning". And ironically, its antonym is "separate".
    – ermanen
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 0:35
  • @ermanen Hm, interesting. Did it mean that historically? I sometimes learn my big words from old books, though I can't say where exactly I picked up "coterminous".
    – Kazark
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 0:42
  • Etymonline says that it is a malformed word but you also need to check the etymology of terminal. The word suggests the meaning of "meeting at the ends" but it is used when two things share the same boundary. The origin and usage of this word could be a whole new question :)
    – ermanen
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 0:54

4 Answers 4


coöriginal or cooriginal (not comparable)

(philosophy) Existing together ab initio; equiprimordial.  

(geometry, of a line) Originating from the same point in space.


  • "Equiprimordial" a pretty good answer to this question in its own right. I'm going to try to fit that one into conversations more often. Commented May 10, 2014 at 2:12

Consider "concomitant" and "coincidental."

concomitant: happening at the same time as something else.

coincidental and coincident: existing or occurring at the same time; occupying the same space or time.

To know the truth and to begin to know that you know the truth are coincidental.

  • Coincidental is almost exclusively used with its other meaning, so is perhaps not the best choice. Maybe co-incidental would get the "happening together" meaning across better?
    – Marthaª
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 23:34
  • I'm not surprised if you can't find the hyphenated spelling - coincidental is the correct spelling, after all. But adding a hyphen would emphasize the "co- = together" part of the etymology/derivation of this word, and therefore would de-emphasize the "remarkable chance" connotation.
    – Marthaª
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 23:43
  • @Marthaª I think the other meaning of "coincidental" should be hyphenated. It makes more sense to me. :-)
    – Elian
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 0:09

Why not something like one of these:

  1. entwined
  2. twinned
  3. inextricably bound

Yes, I realize the third choice there is two words.

  • contemporaneous: Existing or occurring in the same period of time.

  • coeval: Having the same age or date of origin.

  • concomitant: Naturally accompanying or associated.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.