anon·​y·​mous | \ə-ˈnä-nə-məs \

Definition of anonymous 

1 : of unknown authorship or origin an anonymous tip

2 : not named or identified an anonymous author They wish to remain anonymous.

3 : lacking individuality, distinction, or recognizability the anonymous faces in the crowd … the gray anonymous streets …— William Styron

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Other Words from anonymous

anonymously adverb
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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Calls to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Elk Grove police seek driver of truck, big trailer involved in gas station hit-and-run," 10 July 2018 Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 or submit a tip online at Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Warrant issued for man believed to be involved in January shooting at Sawmill Saloon," 9 July 2018 To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, people can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or visit Annie Martin,, "Two Orlando men wanted in June shooting in Poinciana," 4 July 2018 Anyone with information is asked to call the anonymous tip line at 502-574-LMPD or the traffic unit directly at 502-574-2445. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Police ask for help finding purple Honda involved in fatal hit-and-run," 13 July 2018 The coordinated calls for my resignation occurred before any anonymous accusers identified themselves. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Attorney General Curtis Hill: Full transcript of his response to groping allegations," 9 July 2018 Kimemond confirmed to Dateline that in the weeks following Robert’s confession to the murders, an anonymous letter was received by the Liverpool Township Police Department. Juliet Muir, NBC News, "Family still searching for Louise Davis on 39th anniversary of her disappearance," 1 July 2018 The Independent viewed an anonymous letter written by an asylum-seeking detainee whose children were taken from her. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "A Texas County Is Closing an ICE-Run Immigrant Detention Center," 27 June 2018 Perhaps most powerfully, in 2016, BuzzFeed published an anonymous survivor’s letter to her rapist, who was then a freshman at Stanford. Rachel Stone, The New Republic, "A Video Game That Wants to Stop Sexual Harassment," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anonymous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anonymous

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anonymous

Late Latin anonymus, from Greek anōnymos, from a- + onyma name — more at name

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Statistics for anonymous

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anonymous

The first known use of anonymous was in 1563

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More Definitions for anonymous



English Language Learners Definition of anonymous

: not named or identified

: made or done by someone unknown

: not distinct or noticeable : lacking interesting or unusual characteristics


anon·​y·​mous | \ə-ˈnä-nə-məs \

Kids Definition of anonymous

1 : not named or identified an anonymous caller

2 : made or done by someone unknown an anonymous phone call

Other Words from anonymous

anonymously adverb A large sum has been anonymously donated.

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Comments on anonymous

What made you want to look up anonymous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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