Share this entry

Share this page

niche

Line breaks: niche
Pronunciation: /niːʃ
 
, nɪtʃ
 
/

Definition of niche in English:

noun

1A shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display a statue or other ornament: each niche holding a shepherdess in Dresden china
More example sentences
  • Zeno built a tall wall with about 20 niches for statues of gods and goddesses behind the stage.
  • In 1549, Jafar founded Kudus Mosque and fastened the rock in its mihrab, a niche in the mosque wall facing Mecca.
  • The center of Schinkel's building also contained a large rotunda, modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, where statues of the ancient gods inhabited niches recessed in the circular floor.
Synonyms
recess, alcove, nook, cranny, slot, slit, hollow, bay, cavity, cubbyhole, pigeonhole, opening, aperture;
Islam mihrab
2 (one's niche) A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment: he is now head chef at a leading law firm and feels he has found his niche
More example sentences
  • I'd carved a very comfortable niche, so to speak.
  • He developed his expressive skills and, simultaneously, found a comfortable social niche, allowing passers-by to see what he was doing and occasionally exchanging a few words.
  • As no networks for ethnic women existed, there was no crutch to lean on and I had to find a suitable niche for myself without affirmative action assistance.
Synonyms
ideal position, calling, vocation, métier, place, function, job, slot, opportunity
2.1 Ecology A role taken by a type of organism within its community: the niche left vacant by the disappearance of wolves
More example sentences
  • At the same time, the various oral communities that live on the body are highly dependent on the environmental conditions that normally prevail within each niche.
  • Some early humans may have started eating meat as a way to survive within their own ecological niche.
  • The ecological role and niche of coiled cephalopods can be studied by considering the common morphological characters of these fossils.
3A specialized but profitable segment of the market: [as modifier]: a niche market for quality food
More example sentences
  • If this does turn out to be an Edsel moment for Ford Motor, it's about the only misstep Ford has made on an impressive drive toward recognizing and capitalizing on profitable niches in the truck market.
  • McCreevy's move last June to reclassify pick-up trucks also brought the niche market segment, which was undergoing significant growth, to a complete halt.
  • This gentrification developed a population of gentleman farmers who are interested in creating a niche market of a specialty crop.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Place (something) in a niche: these elements were niched within the shadowy reaches niched statues
More example sentences
  • Honey is not as big as Essence, Heart & Soul is not as big as Essence, but a combined circulation of 500,000 is big enough where it has to be looked at, and it's also niched enough where advertisers can make more efficient buys for their targets.
  • Anyway, here I am, being niched as The Guy Who Says Blogs Are Not For Making Money.
  • It is unfortunate but fairly likely that Griffiths will be niched and pigeonholed with this debut novel.

Origin

early 17th century: from French, literally 'recess', from nicher 'make a nest', based on Latin nidus 'nest'.

More
  • nest from (Old English):

    A nest was originally a ‘sitting-down place’. The Old English word comes from the same ancient roots as nether (Old English) and sit (Old English). The related word nestle (Old English) first meant ‘build a nest’, and did not take on its modern meaning until the 16th century. Niche (early 17th century), ‘a shallow recess’ or ‘a comfortable or suitable position’, is another related word.

Definition of niche in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure