epon·​y·​mous | \ i-ˈpä-nə-məs How to pronounce eponymous (audio) , e- \

Definition of eponymous

: of, relating to, or being the person or thing for whom or which something is named : of, relating to, or being an eponym

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Did You Know?

It's no coincidence that "eponymous" has to do with naming - it comes to us from the Greek adjective epōnymos, which is itself from onyma, meaning "name." "Onyma" has lent its name to a number of English words, including "synonymous," "pseudonym," and "anonymous." Traditionally, an eponymous person or thing (i.e., an "eponym") might be a mythical ancestor or totem believed to be the source of a clan's name. Today, however, "eponymous" more typically refers to such individuals as the front man of "Theo's Trio" or the owner of "Sally's Restaurant" (Theo and Sally, respectively, of course). The things that are named for such name-providers are also "eponymous." For example, we can speak of "the eponymous 'Ed Sullivan Show'" as well as "the eponymous Ed Sullivan."

Examples of eponymous in a Sentence

… Ramayana, an Indian epic which chronicles, in sixty thousand verses, the adventures of its eponymous hero Rama … — Leila Hadley, Give Me the World, (1958) 1999 "Cool Britannia," which goes back to Ben and Jerry's eponymous ice cream in Spring 1996, met its sell-by-date within weeks … — Harold Perkin, Times Literary Supplement, 18 Dec. 1998 Karen Hubert Allison, the eponymous (if you count middle names) creator of Hubert's, didn't know she was making dining history … — Peter Kaminsky, New York Times Book Review, 11 May 1997
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Recent Examples on the Web In Pixar’s 2008 movie WALL-E, which is set in the 29th century, our adorable, eponymous robot hero travels to the massive luxury space cruiser the Axiom. Adrienne So, Wired, "Segway Is Bringing the Hoverchairs From WALL-E to Life," 3 Jan. 2020 Its eponymous day of volunteering falls on various dates — in May on the U.S. West Coast, in November in Europe — but on Dec. 25 in metro Detroit. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Mitzvah Day brings hundreds of volunteers to Detroit-area agencies," 25 Dec. 2019 Karl Lagerfeld The creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous line Karl Lagerfeld died on Feb. 19. Sophie Dodd, PEOPLE.com, "Remembering the Stars We Lost in 2019," 5 Dec. 2019 Random genetic events can even shape the animals’ eponymous nine bands. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Scientists aren’t sure why identical twins differ. Armadillo quads offer an answer," 20 Dec. 2019 Its eponymous name for 33 years has carried the mantle for one of the world’s great beer cities. oregonlive, "For Portland Brewing, 33 years and a world of change: Portland Breweries Series," 16 Dec. 2019 The Collatz Conundrum Lothar Collatz likely posed the eponymous conjecture in the 1930s. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematician Proves Huge Result on ‘Dangerous’ Problem," 11 Dec. 2019 Marissa recently sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw for an episode of his eponymous show, Dr. Phil, which airs Thursday, November 14. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "N.Y. Mom Tells Dr. Phil About Moment Husband Told Her He Left Twins in Hot Car by Accident," 13 Nov. 2019 And though the champagne reception was too packed to tell, racks lined with Reba by Reba McEntire clothing filled the hotel's lobby; and later, the guest of honor rocked merchandise from her eponymous label onstage. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Reba McEntire talks rodeo, the Bush family and Kelly Clarkson at record breast cancer luncheon," 10 Oct. 2019

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

1846, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eponymous

see eponym

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Time Traveler for eponymous

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The first known use of eponymous was in 1846

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eponymous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eponymous. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for eponymous


epon·​y·​mous | \ i-ˈpän-ə-məs, e- How to pronounce eponymous (audio) \

Medical Definition of eponymous

: of, relating to, or named after an eponym those eponymous genetic conditions…such as…Friedreich's ataxia— R. O. Brady

More from Merriam-Webster on eponymous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eponymous

Britannica English: Translation of eponymous for Arabic Speakers

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to insert between existing elements

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