Definition of nickname in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnikˌnām/


A familiar or humorous name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name.
Example sentences
  • There are a lot of different kinds of railway cars, their names and nicknames familiar to most people, but there are only a few that bear the name of their inventor.
  • Will had given their proper names, instead of their shortened nicknames.
  • Many Vikings also had a nickname which was used instead of their family name.
sobriquet, byname, tag, label, epithet, cognomen;
pet name, diminutive, endearment
informal moniker
formal appellation


[with object and complement]
Give a nickname to; call by a nickname: his fraternity brothers nicknamed him “The Bird” because of his skydiving skills
More example sentences
  • He was nicknamed Starlight because his character changed so much once the stars appeared.
  • London has been nicknamed Harare North; Edmonton in Canada has been christened Bulawayo.
  • Miss Wilcox had worn the cap almost every day since buying it a year ago and was nicknamed Ted and Edward because of the brand name.


Late Middle English: from an eke-name (eke meaning 'addition': see eke2), misinterpreted, by wrong division, as a neke name.

  • In the Middle Ages a nickname was an eke-name, or ‘an additional name’— eke meant ‘additional’. People misinterpreted an eke-name as a neke name or, later, a nickname. See also newt

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nick·name

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