PRONOUNCED: kər-NEE-lee-əs (English), kawr-NAY-lee-us (Dutch), kawr-NE-lee-uws (German) [key]
Meaning & History
Roman family name which possibly derives from the Latin element cornu
"horn". In Acts in the New Testament
Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter
. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints
, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.
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