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 Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Man killed in north Phoenix shooting, police say," 11 Jan. 2020 Tipsters can remain anonymous and become eligible for a cash reward. Carol Robinson |, al, "Detectives, family seek answers in November shooting death of 23-year-old man," 8 Jan. 2020 People who wish to remain anonymous can text ALLENPD and the tip to 847411. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Teen shot while riding his bike in Allen, police say," 7 Jan. 2020 Others end up making headlines when they probably would have preferred to remain anonymous. oregonlive, "Oregon’s top 15 newsmakers of 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 The Associated Press, citing anonymous officials, reported that as many as 30 rockets were fired into the military base. NBC News, "U.S. contractor killed, service members wounded in rocket attack on Iraq base," 28 Dec. 2019 The tipster will remain anonymous and could receive an award of up to $5,000. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "59-year-old Baytown man dies after being shot by person who knocked on door, opened fire," 24 Dec. 2019 Congress learned about the call after an anonymous CIA official lodged a whistleblower complaint in August. Arkansas Online, "House impeaches Trump," 19 Dec. 2019 Rouhani may end up traveling to Tokyo for a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to seek a way to save the nuclear deal, the Kyodo news agency reported, citing an anonymous official. Jon Gambrell,, "Iran state TV acknowledges security forces killed people – calling them ‘rioters’ – during protests over gas prices," 3 Dec. 2019

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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anonymous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for anonymous


How to pronounce anonymous (audio)

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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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).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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