[ ep-uh-nim ]
/ ˈɛp ə nɪm /


a person, real or imaginary, from whom something, as a tribe, nation, or place, takes or is said to take its name: Brut, the supposed grandson of Aeneas, is the eponym of the Britons.
a word based on or derived from a person's name.
any ancient official whose name was used to designate his year of office.

Nearby words

  1. epochal,
  2. epode,
  3. epoetin alfa,
  4. eponychia,
  5. eponychium,
  6. eponymous,
  7. eponymy,
  8. epoophorectomy,
  9. epoophoron,
  10. epopee

Origin of eponym

First recorded in 1840–50; back formation from eponymous

Related formsep·o·nym·ic, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for eponym

British Dictionary definitions for eponym


/ (ˈɛpəˌnɪm) /


a name, esp a place name, derived from the name of a real or mythical person, as for example Constantinople from Constantine I
the name of the person from which such a name is derivedin the Middle Ages, "Brutus" was thought to be the eponym of "Britain"
Derived Formseponymic, adjective

Word Origin for eponym

C19: from Greek epōnumos giving a significant 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 eponym



one whose name becomes that of a place, a people, an era, an institution, etc., 1846, from Greek eponymos "given as a name, giving one's name to something," from epi "upon" (see epi-) + onyma, Aeolic dialectal variant of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for eponym


[ ĕpə-nĭm′ ]


A name of a drug, structure, or disease based on or derived from the name of a person.
Related formsep′o•nymic adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.