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

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

Many were inspired by a program introduced in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2005 that was started by a small group of anonymous donors. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "From Tennessee to Chicago, Free College Programs Take Off," 10 Feb. 2019 Though many tipsters remain anonymous, plenty of roommates are happy to have their Instagram handles tagged by their favorite page as a form of payment for their contributions. Kara Brown, Marie Claire, "Our Lady of Shade," 1 Mar. 2019 Meghan's friends insisted on remaining anonymous for the interview. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Palace Reportedly Didn't Know Meghan Markle's Friends Were Talking to the Press," 9 Feb. 2019 Defy Media was an exception, according to an executive at one multi-channel network, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear for his job security. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube creators blindsided by major network’s collapse," 5 Dec. 2018 Students within the coalition asked to remain anonymous so as not to give one student’s voice preference over the other. Tanay Warerkar, Curbed, "Yale School of Architecture exhibition questions gender disparity in the industry," 18 Oct. 2018 Authorities received an anonymous tip of where Alvarez’s vehicle was located. Fox News, "Unlicensed driver held in hit-and-run death of popular educator, authorities say," 22 Sep. 2018 Grace’s work requires monthly trainings, a dozen police officers, more than a thousand cameras, and poring over hundreds of anonymous tips each year. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "What Littleton Learned," 1 Aug. 2018 The Prosecutor’s Office said anyone who wished to submit an anonymous tip could download the CCPOTIP App, text 847411 with the subject line CCPOTIP, or visit the office’s Facebook page or website. Max Cohen,, "$1,000 reward offered for clues in death of South Jersey woman who was dismembered and burned," 11 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

26 Mar 2019

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 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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