Definition of onomastics in English:


plural noun

  • [usually treated as singular] The study of the history and origin of proper names, especially personal names.

    • ‘I have made a small contribution to onomastics myself: nearly two decades ago, in an idle moment, I had speculated in print about the accident of history that had given our then Prime Minister the magic of the Mahatma's surname.’
    • ‘King finds her most conclusive support for this impulse not in the pages of critical journals, but instead in the theoretical writings on referential onomastics by Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and Saul Kripke.’
    • ‘During the last few decades, there has been, for instance, a notable increase, within the field of onomastics, in the study of brand names, and the like, a scholarly pursuit of considerable merit, but is it concerned with names?’
    • ‘We're talking onomastics: for generations town planners have mistakenly thought that a street name has the power to beautify and - more importantly - gentrify.’
    • ‘The chapters that follow deal with vocabulary, syntax, onomastics, phonology, English grammar and usage and, finally, literary language.’
    • ‘Significant onomastics are part of the Ja-Bac team's stock in trade.’
    • ‘For those who aren't interested at all, onomastics is the study of names and their origins.’
    • ‘In the field of American Indian onomastics it is important to be able to date the creation or the earliest occurrence of a place name.’