EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English byword, 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.
    • 1611, King James Version, Job 17:6:
      He hath made me also a byword of the people ...
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, chapter XII, in The Picture of Dorian Gray:
      "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

Further readingEdit

  • byword at OneLook Dictionary Search

Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old English bīword, modified from earlier bīwyrde, from Proto-Germanic *bīwurdiją; equivalent to bi- +‎ word.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /biːˈwurd/, /biːˈwɔrd/, /biːˈwɔːrd/

NounEdit

byword

  1. byword

DescendantsEdit

  • English: byword

ReferencesEdit