Your name is what you are called: Bill or Jennifer or whatever. Parents name their children, and children name their pets.

Most of us have our first given name and our family name or surname. But name is also used more broadly: people who have made a name for themselves are well-known. Someone who calls us names makes fun of us. If you do something wrong that others find out about, you could give yourself a bad name — hurt your reputation. Someone can be named in a lawsuit or named to a committee. Naming is about identity — who you are.

Primary Meanings of name

a language unit by which a person or thing is known
assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to
a person's reputation
by the sanction or authority of
charge with a function; charge to be
a defamatory or abusive word or phrase
Full Definitions of name

n a language unit by which a person or thing is known

“his name really is George Washington”
“those are two names for the same thing”
show 43 types...
hide 43 types...
an additional name or an epithet appended to a name (as in `Ferdinand the Great')
DBA, Doing Business As, assumed name, fictitious name
(law) a name under which a corporation conducts business that is not the legal name of the corporation as shown in its articles of incorporation
the name derived from a person (real or imaginary)
the person for whom something is named
computer file name, computer filename, file name, filename
(computer science) the name given to a computer file in order to distinguish it from other files; may contain an extension that indicates the type of file
patronym, patronymic
a family name derived from name of your father or a paternal ancestor (especially with an affix (such as -son in English or O'- in Irish) added to the name of your father or a paternal ancestor)
matronymic, metronymic
a name derived from the name of your mother or a maternal ancestor
street name
the name of a street
street name
the name of a brokerage firm in which stock is held on behalf of a customer
street name
slang for something (especially for an illegal drug)
cognomen, family name, last name, surname
the name used to identify the members of a family (as distinguished from each member's given name)
middle name
a name between your first name and your surname
first name, forename, given name
the name that precedes the surname
a descriptive name for a place or thing
alias, assumed name, false name
a name that has been assumed temporarily
anonym, nom de guerre, pseudonym
a fictitious name used when the person performs a particular social role
an incorrect or unsuitable name
author's name, writer's name
the name that appears on the by-line to identify the author of a work
appellation, appellative, denomination, designation
identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from others
hypocorism, pet name
a name of endearment (especially one using a diminutive suffix)
the name of a work of art or literary composition etc.
place name, toponym
the name by which a geographical place is known
your name written in your own handwriting
company name
the name by which a corporation is identified
domain name
strings of letters and numbers (separated by periods) that are used to name organizations and computers and addresses on the internet
brand, brand name, marque, trade name
a name given to a product or service
street name
an alternative name that a person chooses or is given (especially in inner city neighborhoods)
maiden name
a woman's surname before marriage
Christian name, baptismal name
the first name given to Christians at birth or christening
the first name of a citizen of ancient Rome
byname, cognomen, moniker, nickname, sobriquet, soubriquet
a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name)
stage name
the pseudonym of an actor
nom de plume, pen name
an author's pseudonym
form of address, title, title of respect
an identifying appellation signifying status or function: e.g. `Mr.' or `General'
an appellation signifying nobility
the title of a newspaper or magazine; usually printed on the front page and on the editorial page
a title or heading that is printed in red or in a special type
a signature written by one person for another
John Hancock, autograph
a person's own signature
countersign, countersignature
a second confirming signature endorsing a document already signed
endorsement, indorsement
a signature that validates something
sign manual
the signature of a sovereign on an official document
label, recording label
trade name of a company that produces musical recordings
Type of:
language unit, linguistic unit
one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed

n family based on male descent

“he had no sons and there was no one to carry on his name
Type of:
family, family line, folk, kinfolk, kinsfolk, phratry, sept
people descended from a common ancestor

v assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to

“They named their son David”
“The new school was named after the famous Civil Rights leader”
ascribe a quality to or give a name of a common noun that reflects a quality
address, call
greet, as with a prescribed form, title, or name
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
baptise, baptize, christen
administer baptism to
use a name to designate
style, title
designate by an identifying term
dub, nickname
give a nickname to
assign a new name to
entitle, title
give a title to
name formally or designate with a term
provide with a name or nickname
declare formally; declare someone to be something; of titles
Type of:
assign a label to; designate with a label

v give the name or identifying characteristics of; refer to by name or some other identifying characteristic property

“Many senators were named in connection with the scandal”
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
enumerate, itemise, itemize, recite
specify individually
list, number
give the names of
give or make a list of; name individually; give the names of
itemise, itemize
place on a list of items
Type of:
denote, refer
have as a meaning

v give or make a list of; name individually; give the names of

Type of:
enumerate, itemise, itemize, recite
specify individually

v mention and identify by name

name your accomplices!”
Type of:
define, determine, fix, limit, set, specify
decide upon or fix definitely

v make reference to

advert, bring up, cite, mention, refer
show 10 types...
hide 10 types...
commend, remember
mention as by way of greeting or to indicate friendship
speak of the devil
mention someone's name who just then appears
mention favorably, as in prayer
cite, quote
refer to for illustration or proof
touch on
refer to or discuss briefly
appeal, invoke
cite as an authority; resort to
refer to people that one assumes one's interlocutors admire in order to try to impress them
bring up, raise
put forward for consideration or discussion
drag up, dredge up
mention something unpleasant from the past
refer from one entry to another, as in catalogues, books, and lists
Type of:
have in mind, mean, think of
intend to refer to

v determine or distinguish the nature of a problem or an illness through a diagnostic analysis

examine minutely
examine thoroughly and in great depth
Type of:
analyse, analyze, canvas, canvass, examine, study
consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning

v identify as in botany or biology, for example


n a person's reputation

“he wanted to protect his good name
Type of:
reputation, repute
the state of being held in high esteem and honor

n a well-known or notable person

“they studied all the great names in the history of France”
figure, public figure
Type of:
important person, influential person, personage
a person whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events

n by the sanction or authority of

“halt in the name of the law”
Type of:
the act of final authorization

v charge with a function; charge to be

“She was named Head of the Committee”
make, nominate
name again or anew
Type of:
appoint, charge
assign a duty, responsibility or obligation to

v create and charge with a task or function

appoint, constitute, nominate
set up a committee or legislative body with one's own supporters so as to influence the outcome
appoint summarily or commandeer
Type of:
constitute, establish, found, institute, plant
set up or lay the groundwork for

n a defamatory or abusive word or phrase

smear word
an epithet that can be used to smear someone's reputation
Type of:
calumniation, calumny, defamation, hatchet job, obloquy, traducement
a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.