[uh-non-uh-muh s]
See more synonyms for anonymous on
  1. without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, or the like: an anonymous letter to the editor; an anonymous donation.
  2. of unknown name; whose name is withheld: an anonymous author.
  3. lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction: an endless row of drab, anonymous houses.

Origin of anonymous

1595–1605; < Latin anōnymus < Greek anṓnymos, equivalent to an- an-1 + -ōnym(a) (variant of ónyma) -onym (earlier (a)n- with vowel lengthening; cf. anopheles) + -os adj. suffix; see -ous
Related formsa·non·y·mous·ness, nouna·non·y·mous·ly, adverbnon·a·non·y·mous·ness, noun
Can be confusedanomalous anonymous euonymus unanimousanonymous pseudonymous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anonymous

Contemporary Examples of anonymous

Historical Examples of anonymous

  • Except Virgil and this anonymous rhymer, I can recall no verse about cheese.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • I received an anonymous letter, in a hand-writing I did not recognize.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • More than probably Lyttleton had been the other anonymous informant.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • The two had something written on them--anonymous information, so to speak.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • It is not certain now that the anonymous beginning had been a good thing.

British Dictionary definitions for anonymous


  1. from or by a person, author, etc, whose name is unknown or withheldan anonymous letter
  2. having no known name
  3. lacking individual characteristics; unexceptional
  4. (often capital) denoting an organization which provides help to applicants who remain anonymousAlcoholics Anonymous
Derived Formsanonymity (ˌænəˈnɪmɪtɪ), nounanonymously, adverbanonymousness, noun

Word Origin for anonymous

C17: via Late Latin from Greek anōnumos, from an- + onoma name
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

Word Origin and History for anonymous

c.1600, from Late Latin anonymus, from Greek anonymos "without a name," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + onyma, Æolic dialectal form of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper