Contents

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English byworde(proverb), from Old English bīword, bīwyrde(proverb, household word", also "adverb), from Proto-Germanic *bīwurdiją, equivalent to by- +‎ word. Compare Latin proverbium, which byword may possibly be a translation of. Cognate with Old High German pīwurti(proverb). Compare also Old English bīspel(proverb, example), bīcwide(byword, proverb, tale, fable), Dutch bijwoord(adverb).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

byword ‎(plural bywords)

  1. A proverb or proverbial expression, common saying; a frequently used word or phrase.
  2. A characteristic word or expression; a word or phrase associated with a person or group.
  3. Someone or something that stands as an example (i.e. metonymically) for something else, by having some of that something's characteristic traits.
  4. An object of notoriety or contempt, scorn or derision.
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, chapter XII:
      "I know you and Harry are inseparable. Surely for that reason, if for none other, you should not have made his sister's name a by-word."
  5. A nickname or epithet.

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • byword at OneLook Dictionary Search