ep·​onym | \ ˈe-pə-ˌnim How to pronounce eponym (audio) \

Definition of eponym

1 : one for whom or which something is or is believed to be named
2 : a name (as of a drug or a disease) based on or derived from an eponym

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Other Words from eponym

eponymic \ ˌe-​pə-​ˈni-​mik How to pronounce eponym (audio) \ adjective

Examples of eponym in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web His dog, Bernie, leaps into the frame, something about his shaggy visage evoking his eponym. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 This school was built in 1922 after the school’s eponym, a prominent Dallas businessman, ranch owner, and philanthropist, bequeathed DISD $5,000. Naomi Kaskela, Dallas News, 18 Aug. 2021 Sitting courtside, Team Kidd’s eponym clearly delighted in the progress the fledgling program has made. Dallas News, 22 Aug. 2021 The county's board of supervisors decided in an unanimous vote on Thursday to change county's official eponym, according to a press release. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 25 June 2021 The Board of Supervisors of Johnson County in Iowa, home to Iowa City and the state university, voted unanimously on Thursday to recognize Lulu Merle Johnson as the official eponym of the county, rather than Richard Mentor Johnson. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 25 June 2021 The Board of Supervisors voted today to recognize Lulu Merle Johnson as the official eponym of #JohnsonCountyIA. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 25 June 2021 Sister of the poet Paul Claudel, the cycle’s eponym (1864-1943) was a sculptor of great promise. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 11 May 2021 Other next-generation Lukas have unknowingly developed similar tendencies to their NBA eponym, too. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, 13 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of eponym

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eponym

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

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eponym.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eponym. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for eponym


ep·​onym | \ ˈep-ə-ˌnim How to pronounce eponym (audio) \

Medical Definition of eponym

1 : the person for whom something (as a disease) is or is believed to be named
2 : 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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about eponym


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