Definition of


  1. (noun, communication) the name used to identify the members of a family (as distinguished from each member's given name)

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Surname

cognomen, family name, last name

Alternate forms of Surname

Hyponyms: maiden name

Hypernyms: name

Origin of the word Surname

  1. early 14c., "name, title, or epithet added to a person's name," from sur "above" + name; modeled on Anglo-Fr. surnoun "surname" (early 14c.), variant of O.Fr. surnom, from sur "over" + nom "name." Meaning "family name" is first found late 14c. Hereditary surnames existed among Norman nobility in England in early 12c., among common people began… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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