[n. sur-neym; v. sur-neym, sur-neym]
the name that a person has in common with other family members, as distinguished from a Christian name or given name; family name.
a name added to a person's name, as one indicating a circumstance of birth or some characteristic or achievement; epithet.
verb (used with object), surnamed, surnaming.
to give a surname to; call by a surname.

1300–50; Middle English (noun); see sur-1, name; modeled on Old French surnom

unsurnamed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
surname (ˈsɜːˌneɪm)
1.  last name, Also called: second name a family name as opposed to a first or Christian name
2.  (formerly) a descriptive epithet attached to a person's name to denote a personal characteristic, profession, etc; nickname
3.  (tr) to furnish with or call by a surname
[C14: via Anglo-French from Old French surnom. See sur-1, name]

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

early 14c., "name, title, or epithet added to a person's name," from sur "above" + name; modeled on Anglo-Fr. surnoun "surname" (early 14c.), variant of O.Fr. surnom, from sur "over" + nom "name." Meaning "family name" is first found late 14c. Hereditary surnames existed among
Norman nobility in England in early 12c., among common people began to be used 13c., increasingly frequent until near universal by end of 14c. The process was later in the north of England than the south. The verb is attested from 1540s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


name added to a "given" name, in many cases inherited and held in common by members of a family. Originally, many surnames identified a person by his connection with another person, usually his father (Johnson, MacDonald); others gave his residence (Orleans, York, Atwood [i.e., living at the woods]) or occupation (Weaver, Hooper, Taylor). A surname could also be descriptive of a person's appearance (Little, Red) or his exploits (Armstrong).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Searching the family surname can be a good way to determine if part of your
  family tree has already been constructed.
B is the correct answer my real surname is unpronounceable to undergrad
  students in this region.
With a different surname, he could have a glittering career at another media
Peculiar though her first name may be, her surname indicates to her countrymen
  that she was born to the media purple.
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