family name


Definition of family name

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Synonyms for family name


last name, surname

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Examples of family name in a Sentence

Her family name is Smith. many women today do not change their family name when they marry

Recent Examples on the Web

Born in Chengdu, China in 1972, Ms. Meng, who has also went by the English names Cathy and Sabrina, decided to take her mother’s family name at age 16. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "The Public Face of Huawei’s Global Fight," 19 Jan. 2019 In Turkey, though, Topkaya was called a traitor by his own brother, who applied to change his family name, according to Turkish media. Fox News, "Purged NATO officer speaks out after escaping jail in Turkey," 30 Aug. 2018 But Henry had disconnected by then and never left a family name. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "Sebastian Gorka was defending Trump on C-SPAN. A man phoned in to accuse him of treachery.," 4 Feb. 2018 Despite the fact that their fathers are brothers—and in most families would therefore share the same surname of Mountbatten-Windsor—the royal children are known by a different family name. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Children's Surname Will Probably Be This," 1 Aug. 2018 Into Business In 2016, Kate and Andy launched another accessories brand, this one named for their daughter, Frances, and a family name, Valentine. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Kate and Andy Spade's Enduring Partnership—In Love and Business," 7 June 2018 Debbie Dingell of Michigan and Doris Matsui of California, hold seats previously held by their husbands, although more than half have been elected without family name recognition. Mark Schmitt, Vox, "Is dynastic politics on the way out?," 20 Nov. 2018 The difference in the siblings' family names is a product of the Korean Peninsula's division — each country uses different English transliteration rules, so Lee in the South is spelled Ri in the North. Kim Tong-hyung, Fox News, "'Dream or reality?' Koreans to meet after decades apart," 18 Aug. 2018 Kenneth Henry Ravizza, whose family name is pronounced Rah-VISS-uh, was born Jan. 21, 1948, in Hartford, Conn. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Ken Ravizza Pioneered Art of Coaching Athletes, Others on Thinking Skills," 10 Aug. 2018

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

1646, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for family name

The first known use of family name was in 1646

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More Definitions for family name

family name


English Language Learners Definition of family name

: the name shared by the people in a family

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More from Merriam-Webster on family name

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with family name

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for family name

Spanish Central: Translation of family name Encyclopedia article about family name

Comments on family name

What made you want to look up family name? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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