\ ˈnām How to pronounce name (audio) \

Essential Meaning of name

1 : a word or phrase that refers to or that can refer to a specific person "What's his (first) name?" "His name is Jacob." I took my husband's (last) name when we got married. See More ExamplesPlease write/sign your name on this line. State your name and occupation. I refused to give/tell them my name. She has one of the most famous names [=she is one of the most famous people] in show business. Can you give me the name of a good dentist? [=do you know a good dentist that I could use?] Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Clemens. She registered at the hotel under/using a false/assumed name. Samuel Clemens wrote under the name (of) Mark Twain. My full name is Susan Elaine Smith. Her name is Susan, but she goes by the name (of) Sue. [=people call her Sue] Do you know a man by the name of [=do you know a man named] James Smith? She now owns several restaurants that bear her name. [=that are named after her] Can I put your name down for a donation? [=can I write down your name on the list of people who are giving a donation?; would you like to make a donation?]Hide
2 : a word or phrase that refers to a specific place or thing We had to memorize the names of all the countries in Africa. "What's your dog's name?" "His name is Sandy." See More ExamplesWhat was the name [=title] of that movie we saw last night? This is his song "Loving You" from the album of the same name. The ship's name was "Titanic." The band takes/gets its name from [=it is named after] its hometown. The company gives/lends its name to one of the biggest golf tournaments in the country. [=the golf tournament is named after the company]Hide
3 : a word or phrase that refers to a type or group of things Psychologists have a name for this kind of behavior. Is there a name for the part of the leg behind the knee? See More ExamplesThe cougar is also known by the names "puma" and "mountain lion." The plant's botanical/scientific name is Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, but we know it by its common name "daisy." True to their name, killer bees have been known to kill people. = As their name implies/suggests, killer bees really do kill. = Killer bees really live up to their name. = Killer bees are known to kill people, hence the name.Hide

Full Definition of name

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing The boy's name is Brad.
b : a word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity
2 : a descriptive often disparaging epithet called him names
3a : reputation gave the town a bad name
b : an illustrious record : fame made a name for himself in golf
c : a person or thing with a reputation one of the most detested names in history
4 : family, clan was a disgrace to his name
5 : appearance as opposed to reality a friend in name only
6 : one referred to by a name praise his holy name
in the name of
1 : by authority of open in the name of the law
2 : for the reason of : using the excuse of called for reforms in the name of progress


named; naming

Definition of name (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to give a name to : call
2a : to mention or identify by name refused to name a suspect
b : to accuse by name
3 : to nominate for office : appoint
4 : to decide on : choose name the day of the wedding
5 : to mention explicitly : specify unwilling to name a price



Definition of name (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or bearing a name name tags
2 : appearing in the name of a literary or theatrical production
3a : having an established reputation
b : featuring celebrities

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Other Words from name


namer noun

Examples of name in a Sentence

Noun Please write your name on this line. State your name and occupation. I refused to give them my name. Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Clemens. She registered at the hotel under a false name. My full name is Susan Elaine Smith. We had to memorize the names of all the countries in Africa. “What's your dog's name?” “His name is Sandy.” This is his song “Loving You” from the album of the same name. The ship's name was “Titanic.” Verb “What are you going to name your new dog?” “I think I'll name him Sandy.” The aptly named HMS “Victorious” helped the British Royal Navy win an important victory. A man named James Smith is on the phone. We named our daughter “Mary” in honor of her grandmother. Can you name the person who attacked you? All of the authors named above were influenced by his work. She was named to replace him as the company's vice president. Adjective the university's physics department boasts a number of name physicists
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wanting to blow up buildings in the name of a religious jihad is a viewpoint. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Sep. 2021 And in the name of preserving the island's surroundings and natural resources, the forthcoming hotel plans to foster plant growth that will serve as a habitat for the stunning birds of Belize. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, 14 Sep. 2021 How is the Cleveland Clinic, which has refused to battle the spread of the coronavirus by mandating vaccines for its workforce, restricting the general public in the name of battling the coronavirus? Laura Johnston, cleveland, 14 Sep. 2021 Not on the field for a couple more years, but in name. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Sep. 2021 But while many details about the rules remain unknown, Biden appears to be on firm legal ground to issue the directive in the name of protecting employee safety, according to several experts interviewed by The Associated Press. Eric Tucker, Alanna Durkin Richer, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2021 Most Muslims around the world were disgusted by the mass murder of civilians in the name of their religion. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 In truth, Serwer added, Lee—as the leader of the Confederate forces—was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people during a war waged in the name of preserving slavery as the status quo. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Sep. 2021 On the whole, though, Americans have grown more wary of government surveillance in the name of national security, the poll shows. Meg Kinnard And Emily Swanson, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In recent years, private-equity firms have taken over broad swaths of American industry — health care, retailing and energy to name just a few. NBC News, 15 Sep. 2021 Ideas and information have also enjoyed technological change—cinema, television, and computing, to name a few, have altered expression. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2021 There are a few different factors that go into this, such as RAM, memory, and connectivity speed, just to name a few. Chris Hachey, BGR, 13 Sep. 2021 Rodrigo was one of many first-timers at this year's Met Gala, including co-chair Amanda Gorman and social media stars Addison Rae, Emma Chamberlain, and Madison Beer, to name a few. Kaitlyn Frey,, 13 Sep. 2021 Walker Wear has outfitted nearly all of the Hip-Hop greats, including Tupac, Biggie and Jay-Z, to name just a few. Greg Emmanuel, Essence, 13 Sep. 2021 And the subject of Italian ethnicity in America was the theme behind Prisoners Among Us, to name few. Marc Berman, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 Cartier, Chanel, Adidas, Tory Burch, and Bobbi Brown, just to name a few. Lola Ogunnaike, Marie Claire, 12 Sep. 2021 Each year, the colors of fall drive leaf-peepers to make their annual pilgrimage to capture and walk among the beautiful maple, aspen, hickory, birch, and beech trees, to name a few. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 9 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Although pancake mix and syrup are not sold out in most stores, most popular or name brand items are harder to come by. Dallas News, 26 Apr. 2020

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


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


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


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for name

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English nama; akin to Old High German namo name, Latin nomen, Greek onoma, onyma

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Time Traveler for name

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near name




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Statistics for name

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Name.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for name


\ ˈnām How to pronounce name (audio) \

Kids Definition of name

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a word or combination of words by which a person or thing is known
2 : reputation sense 2 She made a name for herself in the restaurant business.
3 : a word or phrase used to describe and insult someone Stop calling me names!


named; naming

Kids Definition of name (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to choose a word or words by which something will be known : give a name to They plan to name the baby Diana.
2 : to refer to by the word by which a person or thing is known : call by name Can you name all the state capitals?
3 : to appoint to a job of authority Our principal was named superintendent of schools.
4 : to decide on Have you named the date for your wedding?
5 : mention entry 2 Just name your price.
6 : to choose to be Their son was named student of the year.



Kids Definition of name (Entry 3 of 3)

: well-known because of wide distribution That store doesn't sell name brands.

More from Merriam-Webster on name

Nglish: Translation of name for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of name for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about name


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