- a word or phrase associated with some person or thing; a characteristic expression, typical greeting, or the like.
- a word or phrase used proverbially; common saying; proverb.
- an object of general reproach, derision, scorn, etc.: His crimes will make him a byword through the ages.
- an epithet, often of scorn.
Origin of byword
Synonyms for bywordSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for by-wordaphorism, dictum, adage, theorem, proverb, motto, axiom, maxim, epithet, style, tag, moniker, sobriquet, saying, remark, slogan, utterance, phrasing, idiom, expression
Examples from the Web for by-word
Historical Examples of by-word
The inactivity of our troops had long become a by-word among us.The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido
He has now become a by-word as a hypocrite and a merciless self-seeker.Slain By The Doones
R. D. Blackmore
The bishop had named him Isengrin, the by-word then for wolf.Historical Tales, Vol. 6 (of 15)
Byron had a club foot in his mind, and so Byron is a by-word.The Green Carnation
Robert Smythe Hichens
The word had been in use so frequently that it had become a by-word among the students.Hester's Counterpart
Jean K. Baird
- a person, place, or thing regarded as a perfect or proverbial example of somethingtheir name is a byword for good service
- an object of scorn or derision
- a common saying; proverb
Word Origin for byword
also by-word, Old English biword "proverb," formed on the model of Latin proverbium or Greek parabole. Meaning "something that has become proverbial" is from 1530s.