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[pa-truh-nim-ik] /ˌpæ trəˈnɪm ɪk/
(of family names) derived from the name of a father or ancestor, especially by the addition of a suffix or prefix indicating descent.
(of a suffix or prefix) indicating descent.
a patronymic name, as Williamson (son of William) or Macdonald (son of Donald).
a family name; surname.
Origin of patronymic
1605-15; < Late Latin patrōnymicus < Greek patrōnymikós equivalent to patrṓnym(os) patronymic (see patri-, -onym) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
patronymically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for patronymic
  • It is not unusual for some members of a family to translate the patronymic while others leave it unchanged.
  • The applicant has the right to request the surname, name, patronymic and the office telephone of the responsible performer.
  • In some cases an honorific or a patronymic name may be used.
  • In the old days he did not bear his famous patronymic.
British Dictionary definitions for patronymic


(of a name) derived from the name of its bearer's father or ancestor. In Western cultures, many surnames are patronymic in origin, as for example Irish names beginning with O' and English names ending with -son; in other cultures, such as Russian, a special patronymic name is used in addition to the surname
a patronymic name
Word Origin
C17: via Late Latin from Greek patronumikos, from patēr father + onomaname
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for patronymic

1610s, from Late Latin patronymicum, from neuter of patronymicus "derived from a father's name," from patronymos "named from the father," from pater (genitive patros) "father" (see father (n.)) + onyma "name," Aeolic dialectal variant of onoma "name" (see name (n.)). As an adjective from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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