• synonyms


See more synonyms for eponym on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
  2. a word based on or derived from a person's name.
  3. any ancient official whose name was used to designate his year of office.
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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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for eponym

Historical Examples

  • This, however, as we learn from the Eponym Canon, was not all.

    The Expositor's Bible

    F. W. Farrar

  • The word 'Abram' is merely an eponym—it means 'exalted father.'

  • As much is suggested by the following entry in an eponym list.

  • And in this respect Herakles was the eponym and patron of an order which existed throughout Doric Hellas.

  • Sardanapalus, the eponym of Oriental luxury, furnishes a good subject for this style of composition.

British Dictionary definitions for eponym


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

Word Origin

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.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

eponym in Medicine


  1. A name of a drug, structure, or disease based on or derived from the name of a person.
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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.