niche

noun
\ ˈnich How to pronounce niche (audio) also ˈnēsh or ˈnish How to pronounce niche (audio) \

Definition of niche

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a recess in a wall especially for a statue
b : something (such as a sheltered or private space) that resembles a recess in a wall
2a : a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted finally found her niche
b : a habitat supplying the factors necessary for the existence of an organism or species
c : the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption
d : a specialized market

niche

verb
\ ˈnich also ˈnēsh or ˈnish How to pronounce niche (audio) \
niched; niching

Definition of niche (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place in or as if in a niche (see niche entry 1)

Illustration of niche

Illustration of niche

Noun

niche 1a

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms for niche

Synonyms: Noun

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How do you pronounce niche? Is it \NEESH\ or \NICH\?

Noun

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.

Examples of niche in a Sentence

Noun To succeed in this new world, you have to sell yourself. You go to a brand-name college, not to imbibe the wisdom of its professors, but to make impressions and connections. You pick a niche that can bring attention to yourself and then develop your personal public relations efforts to let the world know who you are. — Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review, 7 Jan. 2001 The ivory-billed woodpecker, wan ghost of southern woodlands, may actually be flying forth from its niche in extinction. — Frank Graham, Jr., Audubon, May/June 2000 Creatures in the genus Rickettsia occupy a niche between bacteria and viruses. They carry much of their own cellular equipment and are vulnerable to antibiotics, but like viruses they need to invade living cells in order to grow. — Wayne Biddle, A Field Guide to Germs, 1995 No, a safe and humble backbencher's niche in the Senate was the inheritance of a Julius these days. — Colleen McCullough, The First Man in Rome, 1990 A dozen or so fey young monks in saffron robes and shaven heads wafted from quiet niche to niche begging alms and looking very flesh-bound to my jaded eyes. — Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987 I found a niche for myself after high school. She finally found her niche as a teacher. the species that fill an environmental niche Verb The most moving of all the museums in Russia, right now, is also the smallest and the most unlikely. Niched with no fuss whatever in what was a communal apartment high in the annex of the former Sheremetyev Palace in St. Petersburg, it is devoted to a great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966). — John Russell, New York Times Book Review, 1 Jan. 1995
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While still a small, niche industry compared to other cash crops, proponents of hemp say its strong growth potential holds promise for farmers looking to diversify. BostonGlobe.com, "Wisconsin governor signs bill making state’s hemp program permanent - The Boston Globe," 26 Nov. 2019 Anderson sees some farmers having success in niche markets. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "Why some farmers are banking on you buying more expensive food," 26 Nov. 2019 Volunteers with niche skillsets recently sat down to tinker with broken items brought in by Evanston residents at the eighth Repair Clinic. Tom Ackerman, chicagotribune.com, "With skilled volunteers, Evanston community group wants to help fix your broken household items," 25 Nov. 2019 Analysts immediately concluded that the Cybertruck is more of a niche vehicle than a mass-market model. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Tesla Cybertruck design stuns: 'Eccentric,' 'eye-popping' or 'weird' 'piece of junk'?," 22 Nov. 2019 As such, Supreme, Volume 2 functions as a lesson on what happens when something once niche goes mainstream. Vogue, "Supreme, Volume 2 Covers a Lot of Ground, From Skateboarding to Streetwear Domination," 21 Nov. 2019 Smaller content players such as Discovery and Sony Entertainment will have to identify niches. The Economist, "The future of entertainment," 14 Nov. 2019 Now, a new wave of business-to-business (B2B) startups in niche segments is silently creating a significant impact globally. Nisha Ramchandani, Quartz India, "Industrial AI is helping the Indian startup industry build a name beyond e-commerce," 12 Nov. 2019 Further, there are certain niche stories that will never be picked up for wide distribution that our festivals uplift and celebrate, building community support and fostering dialogue around significant issues. Melissa Kim, NBC News, "Asian American film festivals launch careers, bridge gulfs and foster careers," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Critics site the powerful micro-targeting capabilities of tech platforms — which allow ads to be tailored to niche audiences and interest groups — as being susceptible to abuse, particularly when spreading false or misleading claims. NBC News, "Twitter to stop accepting political ads," 30 Oct. 2019 And many websites cater to niche vacation markets, from hikers to cruisers. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "Even vacations can be hell for autism families. A new website is here to help. | Miami Herald," 3 May 2018 Christian support for the Aliyah largely began with the collapse of the Soviet Union and has grown in recent years as American Jews have redirected charitable donations to niche causes. Washington Post, "Christians emerge as key patrons for Jews moving to Israel," 8 Mar. 2018 And many websites cater to niche vacation markets, from hikers to cruisers. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "Even vacations can be hell for autism families. A new website is here to help. | Miami Herald," 3 May 2018 Christian support for the Aliyah largely began with the collapse of the Soviet Union and has grown in recent years as American Jews have redirected charitable donations to niche causes. Washington Post, "Christians emerge as key patrons for Jews moving to Israel," 8 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of niche

Noun

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1753, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for niche

Noun and Verb

French, from Middle French, from nicher to nest, from Vulgar Latin *nidicare, from Latin nidus nest — more at nest

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Time Traveler for niche

Time Traveler

The first known use of niche was in 1610

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Statistics for niche

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Niche.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niche?utm_campaign=sd&utm_medium=serp&utm_source=jsonld. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for niche

niche

noun
How to pronounce niche (audio) How to pronounce niche (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of niche

: 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
technical : an environment that has all the things that a particular plant or animal needs in order to live

niche

noun
\ ˈnich How to pronounce niche (audio) \

Kids Definition of niche

1 : an open hollow space in a wall (as for a statue)
2 : a place, job, or use for which a person or a thing is best fitted She found her niche in teaching.

niche

noun
\ ˈnich sometimes ˈnish or ˈnēsh \

Medical Definition of niche

: crater typical niche formation resulting from an ulcer

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More from Merriam-Webster on niche

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for niche

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with niche

Spanish Central: Translation of niche

Nglish: Translation of niche for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of niche for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about niche

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