- a familiar saying; proverb
- a person or thing proverbial for some quality
- an object of scorn or ridicule
- a favorite or pet word or phrase
Origin of bywordMiddle English and Old English biword from bi (see by) + word: formed after Classical Latin proverbium (pro + verbum), proverb
- a. A proverbial expression; a proverb.b. An often-used word or phrase.
- One that represents a type, class, or quality: “Polyester got its déclassé reputation in the 1970s after cheap, poorly made double-knit leisure suits became a byword for bad taste” ( Fortune )
- An object of notoriety or interest: The eccentric poet was a byword in literary circles.
- An epithet.
Origin of bywordMiddle English byworde from Old English bīword translation of Latin prōverbium
- a proverb or proverbial expression, common saying; a frequently used word or phrase
- someone or something that stands (metonymically) for something else, by having some of that something's characteristic traits; byspel
- An object of notoriety or contempt.
- a nickname or epithet
- (by extension) an object of scorn or derision
From Middle English byworde (“proverb”), from Old English bīword, bīwyrde (“proverb, household word", also "adverb”), from bī- (“by-”) + word (“word”); probably a translation of Latin proverbium. Compare also Old High German pīwurti (“proverb”), Old English bīspel (“proverb, example”), bīcwide (“byword, proverb, tale, fable”). More at byspel.