a. A word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others.
b. A word or group of words used to describe or evaluate, often disparagingly: Don't call me names.
2. Representation or repute, as opposed to reality: a democracy in name, a police state in fact.
a. A reputation: has a bad name.
b. A distinguished reputation: made a name for himself as a drummer.
4. An illustrious or outstanding person: joined several famous names for a photograph. See Synonyms at celebrity.
tr.v. named, nam·ing, names
1. To give a name to: named the child after both grandparents.
2. To mention, specify, or cite by name: named the primary colors.
3. To call by an epithet: named them all cowards.
4. To nominate for or appoint to a duty, office, or honor. See Synonyms at appoint.
5. To specify or fix: We need to name the time for our meeting.
Well-known by a name: a name performer.
in the name of
1. By the authority of: Open up in the name of the law!
2. For the reason of; using as a reason: grisly experiments performed in the name of science.
to (one's) name
Belonging to one: I don't have a hat to my name.
[Middle English, from Old English nama; see n-men- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
nama·ble, namea·ble adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.