Definition of patronymic
: a name derived from that of the father or a paternal ancestor usually by the addition of an affix
Did You Know?
A patronymic, or patronym, is generally formed by adding a prefix or suffix to a name. Thus, a few centuries ago, the male patronymic of Patrick was Fitzpatrick ("Patrick's son"), that of Peter was Peterson or Petersen, that of Donald was MacDonald or McDonald, and that of Hernando was Hernández. Today, of course, each of these is an ordinary family name, or surname. In Russia, both a patronymic and a surname are still used; in the name Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, for example, Ilyich is a patronymic meaning "son of Ilya".
Origin and Etymology of patronymic
ultimately from Greek patronymia patronymic, from patr- + onyma name — more at name
First Known Use: 1612
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up patronymic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).