Etymology
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byword (n.)

also by-word, late Old English biword "proverb, word or phrase used proverbially;" see by + word (n.). Formed on the model of Latin proverbium or Greek parabole. Meaning "something that has become proverbial" (usually in a satirical or bad sense) is from 1530s.

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Definitions of byword

byword (n.)
a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people;
Synonyms: proverb / adage / saw
From wordnet.princeton.edu