- the study of the origin, form, meaning, and use of names, esp. proper names
- a pattern or system serving as a basis for the formation and use of names and terms within a field or category
noun(used with a sing. or pl. verb)
- a. The study of the origins and forms of proper names.b. The study of the origins and forms of terms used in specialized fields.
- The system that underlies the formation and use of proper names or terms used in specialized fields.
1936, preceded by adjective onomastic (“of or belonging to naming”) (1716), from French onomastique, from Ancient Greek ὀνομαστικός (onomastikos), from ὀνομαστός (onomastos, “named”), form of ὀνομάζω (onomazō, “I name”), from ὄνομα (onoma, “name”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃nh₃mn̥ (“name”) (English name).