top of page




epitome, unknown, obscure, unheard



How to pronounce byword (audio)

Dictionary definition of byword

A term or expression that is widely known and used to represent a particular concept, quality, or characteristic.
"His name is now a byword for betrayal among his former friends."

Detailed meaning of byword

It is often a well-known phrase or saying that encapsulates the essence or reputation of something or someone. A byword can also refer to a person or thing that is considered the epitome or embodiment of a specific trait or attribute. It carries a connotation of being a recognizable symbol or symbolizing a specific idea. Bywords can be positive or negative, depending on the context in which they are used. They serve as shorthand references, allowing individuals to quickly understand and convey complex ideas or opinions. Bywords have a significant impact on language and culture, shaping the way people communicate and perceive the world around them.

Example sentences of byword

1. "Time is money" is a byword for efficiency.
2. "Honesty is the best policy" is a moral byword.
3. "Survival of the fittest" is a byword for evolution.
4. "Actions speak louder than words" is a common byword.
5. "A rolling stone gathers no moss" is a proverbial byword.
6. "Love conquers all" is a byword for the power of love.

History and etymology of byword

The noun 'byword' has an etymology deeply rooted in Old English. It is derived from the Old English word 'bīwyrde,' which is a combination of 'bī' (meaning 'by' or 'through') and 'wyrd' (meaning 'fate' or 'destiny'). In its earliest usage, a 'byword' was a phrase or expression that represented a concept, quality, or characteristic so well-known and widespread that it seemed to be determined by fate itself. Over time, the term evolved to refer to any widely recognized and often-used term or expression that encapsulates a particular idea or aspect. The etymology of 'byword' thus underscores its historical association with the idea that certain words or phrases become emblematic of specific notions, becoming ingrained in the cultural and linguistic fabric of a society.

Find the meaning of byword

Try Again!


Further usage examples of byword

1. "Quality over quantity" is a modern byword for success.
2. "The customer is always right" is a business byword.
3. "Blood is thicker than water" is a familial byword.
4. "Knowledge is power" is an educational byword.
5. "United we stand, divided we fall" is a patriotic byword.
6. "A penny for your thoughts" is a casual byword.
7. "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" is a cautionary byword.
8. "You reap what you sow" is an agricultural byword.
9. "Practice makes perfect" is a motivational byword.
10. "The early bird catches the worm" is a time-management byword.
11. "Birds of a feather flock together" is a social byword.
12. "A stitch in time saves nine" is a prudent byword.
13. "Where there's smoke, there's fire" is a detective's byword.
14. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is a subjective byword.
15. The small town was a byword for hospitality, welcoming travelers from all over.
16. Over the years, her diligence made her a byword for hard work in the community.
17. The ancient city soon became a byword for architectural grandeur.
18. With its speedy service and quality products, the new café became a byword for excellence.
19. As news of his bravery spread, he became a byword for courage in his country.
20. Her unyielding integrity throughout her career has made her a byword for honesty.
21. This brand of laptops has become a byword for unreliability; I wouldn’t recommend buying one.
22. The scenic village by the lake is a byword for tranquility and natural beauty.
23. The restaurant's unmatched culinary expertise made it a byword for gourmet dining in the city.
24. The small country, once plagued by corruption, transformed itself into a byword for good governance.
25. With its innovative designs and sustainability initiatives, the company is striving to become a byword for eco-friendly fashion.


Quiz categories containing byword


Better Words_edited.jpg
Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game



Spelling Bee

bottom of page