city on the Ohio River in Ohio, U.S., founded 1789 and first called Losantiville; the name was changed 1790 by territorial Gov. Arthur St. Clair, in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati, a fraternal veterans' organization founded 1783 by former Revolutionary War officers (St. Clair was a member) and named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, 5c. B.C.E. Roman hero who saved the city from crisis and then retired to his farm rather than rule. His name is a cognomen in the gens Quinctia, meaning literally "with curly hair," from Latin cincinnus "curl, curly hair." Related: Cincinnatian.
updated on December 08, 2017