anon·​y·​mous ə-ˈnä-nə-məs How to pronounce anonymous (audio)
: of unknown authorship or origin
an anonymous tip
: not named or identified
an anonymous author
They wish to remain anonymous.
: lacking individuality, distinction, or recognizability
the anonymous faces in the crowd
… the gray anonymous streets …William Styron
anonymousness noun

Examples of anonymous in a Sentence

The donor wishes to remain anonymous. An anonymous buyer purchased the painting. The college received an anonymous gift. He made an anonymous phone call to the police. The reporter got an anonymous tip. His was just another anonymous face in the crowd. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The committee’s members are anonymous, and the coalition’s website directs members of the news media to a generic form for questions. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 24 Nov. 2023 What is the best way to stay private, secure and anonymous while browsing the web? Kurt Knutsson, Fox News, 23 Nov. 2023 Many of Pennock’s subjects are anonymous, their names unrecorded in European sources that offer limited glimpses of their lives. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Nov. 2023 The plan involves investors teaming up with Microsoft to threaten lawsuits and withholding of computing resources, multiple anonymous sources told Forbes. Alexei Oreskovic, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2023 Bringing Westbrook, the starting guard since his first game as a Clipper last February, off the bench had been in the works since the day before, according to people with knowledge of the events who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal matters. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Favors’ sister, who has asked to remain anonymous, said her sibling had entered a gas station to make a purchase when a confrontation occurred inside of the store with two other individuals. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 Police asked that anyone with information about the incident contact police at (619) 531-2000 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Nov. 2023 An anonymous source close to the project told the outlet that the production company A24 was developing the film, which will be based on Walter Isaacson’s biography about the mercurial Musk. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anonymous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin anōnymos, anōnymus "lacking a name" (borrowed from Greek anṓnymos "lacking a name, unnamed, not well-known or remembered," from an- an- + -ōnymos, derivative in adjectival compounds of ónoma, Doric and Aeolic dialects ónyma "name") + -ous — more at name entry 1

First Known Use

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of anonymous was in 1563

Dictionary Entries Near anonymous

Cite this Entry

“Anonymous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


anon·​y·​mous ə-ˈnän-ə-məs How to pronounce anonymous (audio)
: not named or identified
the donor remained anonymous
: made or done by someone unknown
anonymous gifts
an anonymous poem
anonymously adverb
anonymousness noun

from Latin anonymus "anonymous," from Greek anonymos (same meaning), from an-, a- "not, without" and onyma, onoma "name" — related to synonymous

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