ep·​onym ˈe-pə-ˌnim How to pronounce eponym (audio)
: one for whom or which something is or is believed to be named
: a name (as of a drug or a disease) based on or derived from an eponym
eponymic adjective

Example Sentences

Joseph Banks was surely the eponym of eponyms. From Alaska to Indonesia, from Tierra del Fuego to Tasmania, there are capes, islands, straits, mountains, bays, points, channels, peninsulas, counties and towns named after him. Pat Rogers, Times Literary Supplement, 3–9 June 1988 Toadfishes burp the songs of their eponyms; one sort of toadfish is called the singing midshipman. John Hersey, Harper's, May 1987 Almost from the onset of television, congressmen have realized the promotional potential of the carefully scripted hearing: the McCarthy and Kefauver hearings of the 1950s, which were among the first "televison events," made their eponyms famous. Gregg Easterbrook, Atlantic, Dec. 1984
Recent Examples on the Web Over the next half-century, New College developed a reputation for providing a top-notch liberal arts education, inspired by the tutorial model of its Oxford eponym. Jack Mccordick, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2023 Much like their elusive eponym, unicorns are hard to come by, but Hill thinks TestFit will hit the mythical $1 billion mark. Dallas News, 26 July 2022 The early editions of this off-road eponym come in two different drivelines. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 3 Dec. 2022 A decade later, the rollicking races were inspired by a different davenport, an eponym for a large, upholstered sofa like those manufactured by the A.H. Davenport Co. furniture company in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. oregonlive, 30 July 2022 Her troubles begin with her name; Daiyu’s eponym is Lin Daiyu, a tragic figure of legend who dies spitting blood after the family of her beloved tricks him into marrying someone else. New York Times, 3 Apr. 2022 Paying homage to the year the winery was founded, the 1926 Cuvée is an eponym created from grapes harvested throughout the most esteemed vineyards in the DOCG. Jillian Dara, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 With a precision befitting its military eponym, the newsletter articulates style concerns yet to be uttered in the public sphere. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, The New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2021 His dog, Bernie, leaps into the frame, something about his shaggy visage evoking his eponym. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eponym.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Greek epōnymos, from epōnymos eponymous, from epi- + onyma name — more at name

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of eponym was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near eponym

Cite this Entry

“Eponym.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eponym. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


ep·​onym ˈep-ə-ˌnim How to pronounce eponym (audio)
: the person for whom something (as a disease) is or is believed to be named
: a name (as of a drug or a disease) based on or derived from the name of a person

More from Merriam-Webster on eponym

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