[ noun sur-neym; verb sur-neym, sur-neym ]
/ noun ˈsɜrˌneɪm; verb ˈsɜrˌneɪm, sɜrˈneɪm /
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Also called last name . the name that a person has in common with other family members, as distinguished from a first name or given name; family name.
a name added to a person's name, as one indicating a circumstance of birth or some characteristic or achievement; epithet.
verb (used with object), sur·named, sur·nam·ing.
to give a surname to; call by a surname.
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Origin of surname
OTHER WORDS FROM surnameun·sur·named, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use surname in a sentence
It was those grim-faced, jowly white men with the harsh surnames.Nelson Mandela Was Undeniably Great But He Doesn’t Need a Halo|Michael Moynihan|December 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Instead they go by a number of different surnames according to personal preference.What Will the Royal Baby’s Last Name Be?|Caroline Linton|July 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
They did not even have surnames, other than patronymics ("son of" names).An Oscar Winner’s Secret History|Henry Louis Gates, Jr.|October 14, 2010|DAILY BEAST
But the practice of giving surnames grew up only very gradually in the countries of Europe.
In England surnames were not used until nearly a hundred years after the Norman Conquest, and then only by kings and nobles.
It is interesting to see in how many different ways people got their surnames.
The first surnames in England were those which the Norman nobles who came over at the Conquest handed on from father to son.
Many surnames have come down from nicknames given to people because of their good or bad qualities.
British Dictionary definitions for surname
/ (ˈsɜːˌneɪm) /
Also called: last name, second name a family name as opposed to a first or Christian name
(formerly) a descriptive epithet attached to a person's name to denote a personal characteristic, profession, etc; nickname
(tr) to furnish with or call by a surname
Derived forms of surnamesurnamer, noun
Word Origin for surname
C14: via Anglo-French from Old French surnom. See sur- 1, 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