byword

[bahy-wurd]

noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. bystreet,
  2. byte,
  3. bytom,
  4. bytownite,
  5. byway,
  6. byz.,
  7. byzant,
  8. byzantine,
  9. byzantine chant,
  10. byzantine church

Origin of byword

before 1050; Middle English biworde, Old English biwyrde. See by1 (adj.), word

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for byword


British Dictionary definitions for byword

byword

noun

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

Old English bīwyrde; see by, word; compare Old High German pīwurti, from Latin prōverbium proverb

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 byword

byword

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper