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[uh-non-uh-muh s] /əˈnɒn ə məs/
without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, or the like:
an anonymous letter to the editor; an anonymous donation.
of unknown name; whose name is withheld:
an anonymous author.
lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction:
an endless row of drab, anonymous houses.
Origin of anonymous
1595-1605; < Latin anōnymus < Greek anṓnymos, equivalent to an- an-1 + -ōnym(a) (variant of ónyma) -onym (earlier (a)n- with vowel lengthening; cf. anopheles) + -os adj. suffix; see -ous
Related forms
anonymousness, noun
anonymously, adverb
nonanonymousness, noun
Can be confused
anomalous, anonymous, euonymus, unanimous.
anonymous, pseudonymous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for anonymous
  • In college fund raising, anonymous donors typically aren't truly anonymous.
  • But the author, who had been repeatedly imprisoned for his opposition to the British government, remained anonymous.
  • Companies are using an old legal tool, the subpoena, to expose anonymous posters on Internet discussion boards.
  • As the anonymous voice droned on, the official had slammed the receiver down on its cradle.
  • In the old age of food reviewing a restaurant reviewer had to be anonymous.
  • That is the way it goes with linesmen, the most anonymous men on the ice.
  • The article became famous due to its attack on the practice of blogging, and anonymous blogging in particular.
  • For obvious reasons he wishes to remain anonymous.
  • In the late '50s, comic books were almost entirely anonymous products.
  • Sparring partners are the anonymous fighters hired by the not-so anonymous fighters to help them prepare for an upcoming match.
British Dictionary definitions for anonymous


from or by a person, author, etc, whose name is unknown or withheld: an anonymous letter
having no known name
lacking individual characteristics; unexceptional
(often capital) denoting an organization which provides help to applicants who remain anonymous: Alcoholics Anonymous
Derived Forms
anonymity (ˌænəˈnɪmɪtɪ) noun
anonymously, adverb
anonymousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: via Late Latin from Greek anōnumos, from an- + onoma name
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 anonymous

c.1600, from Late Latin anonymus, from Greek anonymos "without a name," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + onyma, Æolic dialectal form of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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