[ neym ]
See synonyms for: namenamednamesnaming on

  1. a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known.

  2. mere designation, as distinguished from fact: He was a king in name only.

  1. an appellation, title, or epithet, applied descriptively, in honor, abuse, etc.

  2. a reputation of a particular kind given by common opinion: to protect one's good name.

  3. a distinguished, famous, or great reputation; fame: to make a name for oneself.

  4. a widely known or famous person; celebrity: She's a name in show business.

  5. an unpleasant or derogatory appellation or expression: Don't call your brother names! Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

  6. a personal or family name as exercising influence or bringing distinction: With that name they can get a loan at any bank in town.

  7. a body of persons grouped under one name, as a family or clan.

  8. the verbal or other symbolic representation of a thing, event, property, relation, or concept.

  9. (initial capital letter) a symbol or vehicle of divinity: to take the Name in vain; the power of the Name.

verb (used with object),named, nam·ing.
  1. to give a name to: to name a baby.

  2. to accuse: He was named as the thief.

  1. to call by an epithet: They named her speedy.

  2. to identify, specify, or mention by name: Three persons were named in the report.

  3. to designate for some duty or office; nominate or appoint: I have named you for the position.

  4. to specify; suggest: Name a price.

  5. to give the name of: Can you name the capital of Ohio?

  6. to speak of.

  7. British. (in the House of Commons) to cite (a member) for contempt.

  1. famous; widely known: a name author.

  2. designed for or carrying a name.

  1. giving its name or title to a collection or anthology containing it: the name piece.

Idioms about name

  1. by name,

    • personally; individually: She was always careful to address every employee by name.

    • not personally; by repute: I know him by name only.

  2. call names, to scold or speak abusively of or to a person: Better not to call names unless one is larger and considerably stronger than one's adversary.

  1. in the name of,

    • with appeal to: In the name of mercy, stop that screaming!

    • by the authority of: Open, in the name of the law!

    • on behalf of: to purchase something in the name of another.

    • under the name or possession of: money deposited in the name of a son.

    • under the designation or excuse of: murder in the name of justice.

  2. name names, to specify people by name, especially those who have been accomplices in a misdeed: The witness in the bribery investigation threatened to name names.

  3. to one's name, in one's possession: I haven't a penny to my name.

Origin of name

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English nama; cognate with German Name, Gothic namô; akin to Old Norse nafn, Latin nōmen, Greek ónoma, Old Irish ainm, Polish imię, Czech jméno

synonym study For name

1. Name, title both refer to the label by which a person is known. Name is the simpler and more general word for appellation: The name is John. A title is an official or honorary term bestowed on a person or the specific designation of a book, article, etc.: He now has the title of Doctor. Treasure Island is the title of a book.

Other words for name

Other words from name

  • namer, noun
  • re·name, verb (used with object), re·named, re·nam·ing.
  • self-named, adjective
  • un·der·name, noun
  • un·der·named, adjective
  • well-named, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use name in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for name


/ (neɪm) /

  1. a word or term by which a person or thing is commonly and distinctively known: Related adjective: nominal

  2. mere outward appearance or form as opposed to fact (esp in the phrase in name): he was a ruler in name only

  1. a word, title, or phrase descriptive of character, usually abusive or derogatory: to call a person names

  2. reputation, esp, if unspecified, good reputation: he's made quite a name for himself

    • a famous person or thing: a name in the advertising world

    • mainly US and Canadian (as modifier): a name product

  3. a member of Lloyd's who provides part of the capital of a syndicate and shares in its profits or losses but does not arrange its business

  4. in the name of or under the name of using as a name

  5. in the name of

    • for the sake of

    • by the sanction or authority of

  6. know by name to have heard of without having met

  7. name of the game

    • anything that is essential, significant, or important

    • expected or normal conditions, circumstances, etc: in gambling, losing money's the name of the game

  8. to one's name belonging to one: I haven't a penny to my name

  1. to give a name to; call by a name: she named the child Edward

  2. to refer to by name; cite: he named three French poets

  1. to determine, fix, or specify: they have named a date for the meeting

  2. to appoint to or cite for a particular title, honour, or duty; nominate: he was named Journalist of the Year

  3. to ban (an MP) from the House of Commons by mentioning him formally by name as being guilty of disorderly conduct

  4. name and shame to reveal the identity of a person or organization guilty of illegal or unacceptable behaviour in order to embarrass them into not repeating the offence

  5. name names to cite people, esp in order to blame or accuse them

  6. name the day to choose the day for one's wedding

  7. you name it whatever you need, mention, etc

Origin of name

Old English nama, related to Latin nomen, Greek noma, Old High German namo, German Namen

Derived forms of name

  • namable or nameable, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with name


In addition to the idioms beginning with name

  • name after
  • name is mud, one's
  • name names
  • name of the game, the
  • name the day

also see:

  • call names
  • clear one's name
  • drop names
  • give a bad name
  • go by (the name of)
  • handle to one's name
  • in name only
  • in the name of
  • make a name for oneself
  • on a first-name basis
  • take someone's name in vain
  • to one's name
  • worthy of the name
  • you name it

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.