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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Eponym \Ep"o*nym\, Eponyme \Ep"o*nyme\, n. [Cf. F. ['e]ponyme. See Eponymous.]

  1. The hypothetical individual who is assumed as the person from whom any race, city, etc., took its name; as, Hellen is an eponym of the Hellenes.

  2. A name, as of a people, country, and the like, derived from that of an individual.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

one whose name becomes that of a place, a people, an era, an institution, etc., 1833, from Greek eponymos "given as a name, giving one's name to something," as a plural noun (short for eponymoi heroes) denoting founders (legendary or real) of tribes, cities, etc.; from comb. form of epi "upon, (called) after," (see epi-) + onyma, Aeolic dialectal variant of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).


n. 1 The name of a real or fictitious person whose name has, or is thought to have, given rise to the name of a particular item. 2 A word formed from a real or fictive person’s name.

  1. n. the name of a person for whom something is supposedly named; "Constantine I is the eponym for Constantinople"

  2. a name derived from the name of person (real or imaginary) as the name of Alexandria is derived from the name of its founder: Alexander the Great


An eponym is a person, place, or thing for whom or for which something is named, or believed to be named. For example, Elizabeth I of England is the eponym of the Elizabethan era.

Many genericized trademarks such as aspirin, heroin and thermos are based on their original brand eponyms.

The adjectives derived from eponym, which include eponymous and eponymic, similarly refers to being the person or thing after whom something is named, as "the eponymous founder of the Ford Motor Company" refers to Henry Ford. Recent usage, especially in the recorded-music industry, also allows eponymous to mean "named after its central character or creator".

Eponym (disambiguation)

An eponym is a name that originates from that of some person (real or fictional). "Eponymous" is often used to mean "self-titled."

"Eponymous" may also refer to:

  • Eponymous (album), an album released by the group R.E.M.

Usage examples of "eponym".

Billy Barf, whose acquaintance with anything Italian was limited to the deuteragonist of Donkey Kong and a few canned-pasta commercials, insisted on speaking with his imperfect idea of an ethnic accent until Isaiah Two Four, detecting not only its inauthenticity but also its potential for insult, drew the young band eponym aside for a word or two, though Ralph Jr.

The suggestion has been made that the name Cain is the eponym of the Kenites, and although this clan has a good name almost everywhere in the Old Testament, yet in Num.

Eponyms abound in medicine like the tetralogy of Fallot, Cogan's disease, the Tolpin syndrome, or Depperman's degeneration.