Definition of niche
- finally found her niche
I found a niche for myself after high school.
She finally found her niche as a teacher.
the species that fill an environmental niche
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'niche.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
There is a debate about how you are supposed to pronounce niche. There are two common pronunciation variants, both of which are currently considered correct: \NEESH\ (rhymes with sheesh) and \NICH\ (rhymes with pitch). \NICH\ is the more common one and the older of the two pronunciations. It is the only pronunciation given for the word in all English dictionaries until the 20th century, when \NEESH\ was first listed as a pronunciation variant in Daniel Jones's English Pronouncing Dictionary (1917). \NEESH\ wasn’t listed as a pronunciation in our dictionaries until our 1961 Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, and it wasn’t entered into our smaller Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary until 1993. Even then, it was marked in the Collegiate as a pronunciation that was in educated use but not considered acceptable until 2003.
All this is to say that the historical pronunciation has been \NICH\, and that \NEESH\ is a relative newcomer that came about likely under influence from French pronunciation conventions. At this point in time in the U.S., \NICH\ is still the more common pronunciation, but \NEESH\ is gaining ground. Our evidence suggests that in British English, \NEESH\ is now the more common pronunciation.
: a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone
: the situation in which a business's products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people
: an environment that has all the things that a particular plant or animal needs in order to live
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