[ pa-truh-nim-ik ]
/ ˌpæ trəˈnɪm ɪk /


(of family names) derived from the name of a father or ancestor, especially by the addition of a suffix or prefix indicating descent.
(of a suffix or prefix) indicating descent.


a patronymic name, as Williamson (son of William) or Macdonald (son of Donald).
a family name; surname.

Nearby words

  1. patronizing,
  2. patronizingly,
  3. patronly,
  4. patronne,
  5. patronym,
  6. patroon,
  7. patrón,
  8. patsy,
  9. patten,
  10. patter

Origin of patronymic

1605–15; < Late Latin patrōnymicus < Greek patrōnymikós equivalent to patrṓnym(os) patronymic (see patri-, -onym) + -ikos -ic

Related formspat·ro·nym·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for patronymic

British Dictionary definitions for patronymic


/ (ˌpætrəˈnɪmɪk) /


(of a name) derived from the name of its bearer's father or ancestor. In Western cultures, many surnames are patronymic in origin, as for example Irish names beginning with O' and English names ending with -son; in other cultures, such as Russian, a special patronymic name is used in addition to the surname


a patronymic name

Word Origin for patronymic

C17: via Late Latin from Greek patronumikos, from patēr father + onoma 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 patronymic



1610s, from Late Latin patronymicum, from neuter of patronymicus "derived from a father's name," from patronymos "named from the father," from pater (genitive patros) "father" (see father (n.)) + onyma "name," Aeolic dialectal variant of onoma "name" (see name (n.)). As an adjective from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper