- 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 bywordhandle, precept, aphorism, slogan, gnome, nickname, dictum, epithet, maxim, axiom, catchword, adage, proverb, shibboleth, saw, motto, catchphrase, apophthegm
Examples from the Web for byword
Contemporary Examples of byword
It was a ghastly tragedy that rattled a nation and became a byword for anti-Semitism in France.A Horror Story of True-Life Anti-Semitism in France
April 28, 2014
At a time when “right to work” has become a byword for union-busting, this is radical indeed.12 Ways Catholicism is More Radical Than Pope Francis
February 9, 2014
Syndicated columnist Dan Savage even campaigned to turn “santorum” into a byword for sexual waste as revenge.Was Rick Santorum Right About Polygamy After All?
December 16, 2013
By Leo Mirani Drones have a terrible reputation, mostly because they have become a byword for death and destruction.Google Invests in Drone Company Airware
May 15, 2013
Historical Examples of byword
I've heard him say 'All's well' over and over again; 'twas a kind of byword with him.Kent Knowles: Quahaug
Joseph C. Lincoln
We have heard of your good fortune on the seas—how your luck has passed into a byword.Captain Blood
In this respect we are a byword among the peoples of the world.England and Germany
Emile Joseph Dillon
"Go to beat the Dutch" became a byword which has persisted to this day.Virginia Under Charles I And Cromwell, 1625-1660
Wilcomb E. Washburn
They will hunt him out of the village, they will refuse him food, they will make him a byword, a scorn.The Soul of a People
- 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.