patronymic

noun
pat·​ro·​nym·​ic | \ ˌpa-trə-ˈni-mik How to pronounce patronymic (audio) \

Definition of patronymic

: a name derived from that of the father or a paternal ancestor usually by the addition of an affix

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Other Words from patronymic

patronymic adjective

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".

Examples of patronymic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Russians have three names; a first name, a patronymic (or a middle name that is based on their father’s first name) and a last name. Denise Davidsonwriter, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Chimes of a Lost Cathedral’ echo sounds of Russian past, present," 28 July 2019 As far as the patronymic, women’s end in evna or ovna, which is ‘daughter of,’ Marina Dmitrievna Makarova. Denise Davidsonwriter, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Chimes of a Lost Cathedral’ echo sounds of Russian past, present," 28 July 2019 For much of history, Danes used a patronymic naming system, so that the son of Jens would have the last name Jensen, and Jens’s daughter would have the last name Jensdatter. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "All the Julie Becks and Me," 15 May 2017

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

1612, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for patronymic

ultimately from Greek patronymia patronymic, from patr- + onyma name — more at name

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Time Traveler for patronymic

Time Traveler

The first known use of patronymic was in 1612

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Cite this Entry

“Patronymic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patronymic. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about patronymic

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