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eponym Syllabification: ep·o·nym
Pronunciation: /ˈepəˌnim/

Definition of eponym in English:


1A person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named.
Example sentences
  • The eponyms are the French Marquis de Sade and the Austrian Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
  • Another Egyptian king in whom the Greeks showed great interest, a figure entirely of legend rather than of myth-history like Psammetichos, was one Busiris, the supposed eponym of the place of that name.
  • A few years later, Old Lyme would become the eponym for the disease; and those once-annoying deer ticks were suddenly noxious.
1.1A name or noun formed after a person.
Example sentences
  • If you're still using terms like cytotic lesion when you mean cancer, and if you can't resist abbreviations, eponyms, and Latin names for common illnesses, you may need help from the Plain English Campaign.
  • This in part is due to the confusion that arises by the numerous eponyms given to describe the same condition.
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome is an eponym for a heterogeneous group of immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies.


Pronunciation: /əˈpänəmē/
Example sentences
  • He chose mariner - not, as usually conjectured, after Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1798 poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, although the eponymy is apt - but in honor of his newborn daughter, Marin.
  • This history would seem to provide a noteworthy lesson for those seeking immortality via eponymy!


Mid 19th century: from Greek epōnumos 'given as a name, giving one's name to someone or something', from epi 'upon' + onuma 'name'.

Definition of eponym in:
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