1. Having an unknown or unacknowledged name: an anonymous author.
2. Having an unknown or withheld authorship or agency: an anonymous letter.
3. Having no distinctive character or recognition factor: "They were carried over a bridge above an anonymous parade of shops" (Elizabeth Speller).
[From Late Latin anōnymus, from Greek anōnumos, nameless : an-, without; see A-1 + onuma, name (influenced by earlier nōnumnos, nameless); see n-men- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.