Definition of byword in English:

byword

noun

  • 1A person or thing cited as a notable and outstanding example or embodiment of something.

    ‘his name became a byword for luxury’
    • ‘The car company, which lives on despite, and because of, becoming a byword for reliable plodding, was promoting a new range of electric vehicles to council delegates visiting the racecourse yesterday.’
    • ‘The word muti, which derives from ‘umu thi’, meaning tree, has become a byword for any traditional medicine, good or bad, practised by sangomas.’
    • ‘The book, the title of which is now virtually a byword for political fanatics, explored the individual whose inner sense of worthlessness, confusion or rage seeks refuge and validating rebirth within a charismatic mass movement.’
    • ‘The former home secretary inherited a department that was a byword for inefficiency and incompetence, and ordered a large scale clear-out of the dead wood.’
    • ‘By accepting, untested, a story which relied on other people's investigation instead of our own, we had betrayed the very standards which had, at that time, made the paper a byword for integrity.’
    • ‘In Edinburgh two years ago, he recognised the effect British rule in India had had in making the sub-continent a byword for electrical excellence, commenting that an expertly-installed fuse box must have been put in by an Indian.’
    • ‘For U.S. readers, the galah is a colourful Australian parrot that has become a byword for stupidity because of its suicidal behaviour on some occasions.’
    • ‘The company became a byword for excellence, developing a team-based corporate culture, but by the 1990s, the vast company had become weighed down by bureaucracy.’
    • ‘It got the stuffing kicked out of it through much of the 20th century and became a byword for mystical, obscurantist thinking, but in recent decades it has been rehabilitated somewhat.’
    • ‘This is the sixteenth book by a woman whose name has become the byword for the authentic account of Irish living in the ‘Forties’ and ‘Fifties’.’
    • ‘As Shakespeare notes, the place was ‘a byword for remoteness’.’
    • ‘He is a byword for dedication and once memorably warned a caddie that he opened up and closed the practice range, routinely whacking 500 balls in a day.’
    • ‘But, instead, the plucky teenager is an academic high-flier and the life and soul of his school, where his name is a byword for good natured generosity.’
    • ‘The not-for-profit organisation, which hopes to become a charity within a month or two, started in 1990 with a handful of employees and a brief to reinvent the area, which had become a byword for social deprivation.’
    • ‘The term ‘cultural safety’ has become such a byword for political correctness that it is often dismissed out of hand.’
    • ‘This site is becoming the byword for solid, objective commentary on technology companies for the growing number of technology stock investors.’
    • ‘Pluralism is often attacked as a byword for anarchy; an ‘anything goes' approach to ethics and politics.’
    • ‘Phrases like ‘puppy farms’ with its connotation of cute and cuddly has changed into a byword for appalling dens of excruciating cruelty.’
    • ‘Listening to this week's forecasts of a ‘killer winter’, it seems worth recalling that meteorology has often been a byword for untrustworthy predictions.’
    • ‘Scotland could become an international byword for backwardness, intolerance and prejudice if that's what its elected representatives want.’
    perfect example of, classic case of, model of, exemplar of, embodiment of, incarnation of, personification of, epitome of, typification of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A word or expression summarizing a thing's characteristics or a person's principles.
      ‘‘Small is beautiful’ may be the byword for most couturiers’
      • ‘The most intriguing of the calls is the one said to have been made by the flight's most famous passenger whose ‘Let’s roll!’ phrase became a byword for the victims' heroism and patriotism.’
      • ‘The American Revolutionary's 1748 remark stands as a byword for industrial capitalism's hurry-up ethic.’
      • ‘Overall excellence for each has now become something of a byword on the music scene; in other words, the programme content is a display for some of the finest young talents around to do the works full justice.’
      • ‘‘The ‘circumcision from Africa’ feature that we were defined by became a byword for all you'd satirise in a woman's magazine as earnest and worthy,’ she says.’

Pronunciation:

byword

/ˈbʌɪwəːd/