Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or derived from the name of one's mother or maternal ancestor.
  • n. A name so derived.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, relating to, or derived from the given name of one's mother or a female ancestor.
  • n. A surname or byname acquired from the given name of one's mother's or from a female ancestor's given name.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See metronymic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or being a name derived from a mother or maternal ancestor.
  • n. A name derived from a mother or maternal ancestor: correlative to patronymic.
  • n. A word of a form used for matronymic designation; a matronymic formation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a name derived from the name of your mother or a maternal ancestor

Etymologies

Greek mātrōnumikos, dialectal variant of mētrōnumikos : mētēr, mētr-, mother; see metro- + onuma, name.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin māter ("mother") + -nym +‎ -ic (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The “Kuniyah,” bye-name, patronymic or matronymic, is necessary amongst Moslems whose list of names, all connected more or less with religion, is so scanty.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Even less common is the use of both matronymic and patronymic names – e.g.,

    Matthew Yglesias » The Bjork Fund

  • In the above family, the two kids would be named Jón Guðrúnsson and Siga Guðrúnsdottir if matronymic naming was followed.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Bjork Fund

  • I cut off my hair, I went naked in public, I learned ideas by the fistful, I changed my last name to Jochild (a matronymic) and I came back courageous.

    CLAIMING YOUR PEOPLE: THINK BIG

  • “Kunyat” = patronymic or matronymic; a name beginning with “Abu” (father) or with “Umm” (mother).

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • One explanation for Simons mysterious background lies in his actual name: fitz means son of but FitzMary is in fact a matronymic (i.e. derived from his mothers Christian name) which commonly denoted illegitimate birth (as in Martin FitzAlice, alderman of St Michaels, Paternoster Royal, in 1281).

    Bedlam

  • I think that Iceland was the only one of these countries to use matronymic names regularly.

    An Unconventional Naming Convention

  • Hence the great clans, Habr Gerhajis and Awal, who prefer the matronymic — Habr signifying a mother, — since, according to their dictum, no man knows who may be his sire. 9 These increased and multiplied by connection and affiliation to such an extent that about 300 years ago they drove their progenitors, the Galla, from

    First footsteps in East Africa

  • They were calling the names now, using the full formula of given name, matronymic, and clan name: Beridon siv-Klastru sar-Toth.

    Do Comets Dream?

  • And my matronymic, Bratley, should have established my financial position for life.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 08, No. 47, September, 1861

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