anon·​y·​mous | \ ə-ˈnä-nə-məs How to pronounce anonymous (audio) \

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

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 Michigan Lottery said the 59-year-old man, who chose to remain anonymous, got his triumphant Winning Millions ticket at a Speedway in Fenton, at 3340 Owen Road. Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press, 7 June 2021 The May 29 winner from Montgomery County, the May 30 winner from Prince George’s County and the May 31 winner from Carroll County accepted their prizes, and all chose to remain anonymous. Cameron Goodnight,, 1 June 2021 The supervisor, who asked to remain anonymous, oversaw around 30 workers engaged in road construction work on the 3.2-km stretch between Rajpath and Rashtrapati Bhavan. Vijayta Lalwani, Quartz, 1 June 2021 That person chose to remain anonymous to keep the focus on Soul2Soul and their racial injustice workshops for people of faith, according to The Associated Press. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 31 May 2021 One houses the ways, power and signal team, and the second building includes operations and light-rail maintenance, according to a VTA clerical worker, who wished to remain anonymous because she was advised not to speak to the media. Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2021 Maryland is one of a handful of states where winners can remain anonymous, along with Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming. Washington Post, 27 May 2021 An anonymous open letter obtained by CBS News claiming to represent the views of 40 to 50 U.S. Capitol Police officers condemned the Republican congressional leaders for their lack of support for that commission. Clare Hymes, Cassidy Mcdonald, CBS News, 26 May 2021 More than a week later, Phipps’ affidavit states, Phipps opened another anonymous letter sent to his home, the details of which were redacted. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for anonymous

Time Traveler

The first known use of anonymous was in 1563

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Statistics for anonymous

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anonymous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce anonymous (audio) \

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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