1. having no name.
  2. left unnamed: a certain person who shall be nameless.
  3. anonymous: a nameless source of information.
  4. incapable of being specified or described: a nameless charm.
  5. too shocking or vile to be specified: a nameless crime.
  6. having no legitimate paternal name, as a child born out of wedlock.
  7. unknown to fame; obscure: a nameless poet; nameless defenders of the country.


  1. without a name; anonymous
  2. incapable of being named; indescribablea nameless horror seized him
  3. too unpleasant or disturbing to be mentionednameless atrocities
  4. having no legal name; illegitimatea nameless child

adj.early 14c., “undistinguished,” from name (n.) + -less. Meaning “having no name” is early 15c.; that of “too abominable to be named” is from 1610s. Cf. Dutch naamloos, German namenlos. Related: Namelessly; namelessness.

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