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 Following that World’s Fair, the statue was placed in a niche above the entrance to the Columbus Memorial building at State and Washington streets. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Italian American group calls for restoring Columbus statue in Chicago’s Arrigo Park," 9 Apr. 2021 The manufacturer operates in a very unique and distinct niche, and is the largest provider of the scales and weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial, and food retailing applications. Q.ai - Investing Reimagined, Forbes, "Top Stocks To Buy Today As The Market Hits Another Record," 8 Apr. 2021 When investors get enthusiastic about a new theme, some companies face pressure to make a possibly value-destroying acquisition while others find themselves in the right niche at the right time. Charley Grant, WSJ, "To Spin or Not To Spin? Disposals Create Fortunes and Headaches," 2 Apr. 2021 But perched atop the ignominious heap is Bruce Willis, whose prolific partnership with EFO Films, one of the biggest players in this niche of the industry, results in as many as four or five movies each year. Joshua Hunt, Vulture, "The King of the Geezer Teasers," 31 Mar. 2021 Apple earlier this month discontinued the iMac Pro, an absolute workhorse of a machine that struggled to find much of a niche between entry-level iMac models and the Mac Pro. Yoni Heisler, BGR, "Apple just leaked two unreleased products in its latest beta software," 25 Mar. 2021 Match Group also owns a handful of more niche dating apps like OurTime, which caters to senior citizens, and BLK, which caters to the Black community. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, "Want to check out your dating app match? Match Group strikes deal to let users see criminal records," 16 Mar. 2021 Livestreaming went from niche to mainstream in 2020, becoming big moneymakers for artists unable to tour during the pandemic, according to new research by MusicWatch. Glenn Peoples, Billboard, "US Livestreams Earned $610M in 2020: Study," 11 Mar. 2021 The big players in this niche are ResortPass and Daycation, but other organizations also advertise day passes. Rosemary Mcclure, Los Angeles Times, "A day pass will get you poolside at 8 of the hottest hotels in L.A.," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From flexible adaptation to biophilic designs to niche co-working and more, architecture and design firms have responded to the hurdles of the late- and post-pandemic workplace environment. Jeffrey Steele, Forbes, "Workplace Design Innovations Helping Smooth Return To Office," 18 Mar. 2021 Here are a few of the best strategies to help niche software companies do just that. Yec, Forbes, "How Niche Software Companies Can Scale Sustainably," 11 Mar. 2021 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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Statistics for niche

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Niche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niche. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for niche

niche

noun

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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Comments on niche

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