Origin of nameless

Middle English word dating back to 1275–1325; see origin at name, -less
Related formsname·less·ly, adverbname·less·ness, nounqua·si-name·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nameless

Contemporary Examples of nameless

Historical Examples of nameless

  • He would not adopt a nameless orphan, found with a poor goatherd of Phelle.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • She seemed to grow stiff, and her eyes dilated with a nameless horror.

  • Yet there was a nameless air of preparation in the room, as if it were strung up for an occasion.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • "But you are not Karl Armstadt," she stammered, as she realized that I was a nameless stranger.

  • The disgrace is nameless, only they are callous enough not to feel it.

British Dictionary definitions for nameless



without a name; anonymous
incapable of being named; indescribablea nameless horror seized him
too unpleasant or disturbing to be mentionednameless atrocities
having no legal name; illegitimatea nameless child
Derived Formsnamelessly, adverbnamelessness, noun
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 nameless

early 14c., "undistinguished," from name (n.) + -less. Meaning "having no name" is early 15c.; that of "too abominable to be named" is from 1610s. Cf. Dutch naamloos, German namenlos. Related: Namelessly; namelessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper