by·​word | \ ˈbī-ˌwərd How to pronounce byword (audio) \

Definition of byword

1 : a proverbial saying : proverb
2a : one that personifies a type
b : one that is noteworthy or notorious
4 : a frequently used word or phrase

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Examples of byword in a Sentence

Mom's favorite byword is “You can get more flies with honey than with vinegar”. nationally, Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive has become a byword for luxury retailing
Recent Examples on the Web Newtown became a byword in the national discussion of gun violence after a 20-year-old man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary armed with several guns on December 14, 2012. Ralph Ellis, CNN, "Newtown High wins football championship on 7th anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre," 14 Dec. 2019 Yet for all its breakthroughs, Bellevue became infamous for its psychiatric wing, the very name a byword for insanity. CBS News, "Bellevue, the storied history of America's oldest public hospital," 22 Mar. 2020 Of course, his ever-nimble lyrics — which have made his name a byword for verbal cosmopolitanism — abound in paradoxes, puns and declarations of uncertainty, all etched into deep-burrowing grooves. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Stephen Sondheim, the Man Who Felt Too Much," 12 Mar. 2020 The psychiatry department of Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, serves one of the poorest, most at-risk, and most diverse populations in a borough that has otherwise become a byword for gentrification. The New York Review of Books, "Charlie Gross," 7 Jan. 2019 My byword on that is that endings need to be beginnings. Dan Snierson,, "Modern Family co-creator breaks down that 'bittersweet' death of a Dunphy," 17 Jan. 2020 Singapore is 45% foreign-born, and a byword for prosperous tranquility. The Economist, "Voters could make the world twice as rich. Why don’t they?," 16 Nov. 2019 Blackpool, a once-lively seaside resort in the north-west, is a byword for decline. The Economist, "Johnson’s northern strategy To help England’s north, link it up," 18 Dec. 2019 For seven years now, German rates have been lower even than those of Japan, previously the byword for economic malaise and deflation. John Authers | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Germany’s Inconvenient Truth? It’s Too Complicated," 14 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'byword.' 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 byword

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of byword was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Byword.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce byword (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of byword

: someone or something that is closely connected with a particular quality

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More from Merriam-Webster on byword

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with byword

Spanish Central: Translation of byword

Nglish: Translation of byword for Spanish Speakers

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