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byword

[bahy-wurd] /ˈbaɪˌwɜrd/
noun
1.
a word or phrase associated with some person or thing; a characteristic expression, typical greeting, or the like.
2.
a word or phrase used proverbially; common saying; proverb.
3.
an object of general reproach, derision, scorn, etc.:
His crimes will make him a byword through the ages.
4.
an epithet, often of scorn.
Origin
1050
before 1050; Middle English biworde, Old English biwyrde. See by (adj.), word
Synonyms
1. slogan, motto. 2. maxim, apothegm, aphorism, saw, adage.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for by word

byword

/ˈbaɪˌwɜːd/
noun
1.
a person, place, or thing regarded as a perfect or proverbial example of something: their name is a byword for good service
2.
an object of scorn or derision
3.
a common saying; proverb
Word Origin
Old English bīwyrde; see by, word; compare Old High German pīwurti, from Latin prōverbium proverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for by word

byword

n.

also by-word, Old English biword "proverb," formed on the model of Latin proverbium or Greek parabole. Meaning "something that has become proverbial" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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