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nameless

[neym-lis] /ˈneɪm lɪs/
adjective
1.
having no name.
2.
left unnamed:
a certain person who shall be nameless.
3.
anonymous:
a nameless source of information.
4.
incapable of being specified or described:
a nameless charm.
5.
too shocking or vile to be specified:
a nameless crime.
6.
having no legitimate paternal name, as a child born out of wedlock.
7.
unknown to fame; obscure:
a nameless poet; nameless defenders of the country.
Origin of nameless
1275-1325
Middle English word dating back to 1275-1325; See origin at name, -less
Related forms
namelessly, adverb
namelessness, noun
quasi-nameless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nameless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He would not adopt a nameless orphan, found with a poor goatherd of Phelle.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • She seemed to grow stiff, and her eyes dilated with a nameless horror.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
  • Yet there was a nameless air of preparation in the room, as if it were strung up for an occasion.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • "But you are not Karl Armstadt," she stammered, as she realized that I was a nameless stranger.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • The disgrace is nameless, only they are callous enough not to feel it.

British Dictionary definitions for nameless

nameless

/ˈneɪmlɪs/
adjective
1.
without a name; anonymous
2.
incapable of being named; indescribable: a nameless horror seized him
3.
too unpleasant or disturbing to be mentioned: nameless atrocities
4.
having no legal name; illegitimate: a nameless child
Derived Forms
namelessly, adverb
namelessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nameless
adj.

early 14c., "undistinguished," from name (n.) + -less. Meaning "having no name" is early 15c.; that of "too abominable to be named" is from 1610s. Cf. Dutch naamloos, German namenlos. Related: Namelessly; namelessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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