(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.

1605–15; < Late Latin patrōnymicus < Greek patrōnymikós equivalent to patrṓnym(os) patronymic (see patri-, -onym) + -ikos -ic

patronymically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
patronymic (ˌpætrəˈnɪmɪk)
1.  (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
2.  a patronymic name
[C17: via Late Latin from Greek patronumikos, from patēr father + onomaname]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1612, from L.L. patronymicum, from neut. of patronymicus "derived from a father's name," from patronymos "named from the father," from pater (gen. patros) "father" + onyma "name."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


name derived from that of a father or paternal ancestor, usually by the addition of a suffix or prefix meaning "son." Thus the Scottish name MacDonald originally meant "son of Donald." Usually the "son" affix is attached to a baptismal name, but it is also possible to attach it to the father's occupation (e.g., Clerkson). Sometimes a patronymic is simply the father's given name (Thomas, Edward) or its genitive form (Edwards)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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