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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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by-word in the Bible

Hebrew _millah_ (Job 30:9), a word or speech, and hence object of talk; Hebrew _mashal_ (Ps. 44:14), a proverb or parable. When it denotes a sharp word of derision, as in Deut. 28:37, 1 Kings 9:7, 2 Chr. 7:20, the Hebrew _sheninah_ is used. In Jer. 24:9 it is rendered "taunt."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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