Definition of nephew in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnɛfjuː/
Pronunciation: /ˈnɛvjuː/


A son of one’s brother or sister, or of one’s brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
Example sentences
  • His is regretted by his brother, sisters, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.
  • He is survived by his brother, sisters, nephews, nieces and by other relations.
  • On occasion his position became hereditary, sons, cousins, nephews succeeding.


Middle English: from Old French neveu, from Latin nepos 'grandson, nephew', from an Indo-European root shared by Dutch neef and German Neffe.

  • A nephew could originally also be a grandson—the word nephew comes via Old French neveu, from Latin nepos ‘nephew, grandson’. Nepotism (mid 17th century), or favouritism towards friends or relations, also comes from nepos. The reference is to privileged treatment formerly given to the ‘nephews’ of popes, who were in many cases their illegitimate sons. Niece (Middle English) comes from Latin neptis the feminine form of nepos.

For editors and proofreaders

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