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

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 In an anonymous letter to Gov. Kate Brown earlier this month, a group of employees described hostile working conditions and accused leadership of gender bias and misusing taxpayer funds. Ted Sickinger,, "DOJ hires law firm to investigate Business Oregon," 24 Apr. 2018 In 2013, Perry received an anonymous letter about Daley, not written by Farley, according to the lawsuit. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: Michigan prison agency needs to step up against sex harassment," 23 Apr. 2018 Lammendola, meanwhile, said an anonymous letter was left for Olivieri’s parents at their South Philadelphia home. Chris Palmer,, "Threats, taunts, tears: Families of slain South Philly teens struggling 6 months later," 20 Apr. 2018 Two weeks later, the city received an anonymous letter accusing Hudak of misconduct. Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Chief's photo with bikini-clad cops broke no rules. He got reprimanded, anyway | Miami Herald," 12 Apr. 2018 Astaneh, 33, assumed her angry blast would remain anonymous. Maria Cramer,, "Facing off with the US Postal Service," 13 July 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

24 Sep 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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