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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Multiple editorial leaders emphasized their perception of inclusive coverage not as a niche, but rather a lens to be applied across all reporting. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 May 2022 The investment has paid off with Standard & Strange becoming the sole US seller of niche Japanese makers like Clinch Boots and Ooe Yofukuten. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 4 May 2022 Drake wasn’t immediately convinced — thinking the care economy was slightly niche and more of a lived experience than a category. Rebecca Szkutak, Forbes, 4 May 2022 Such discourse has long percolated in niche far-right subcultures such as evangelical circles or QAnon conspiracy theorist spaces, within which LGBTQ people have long been accused of posing various dangers to children. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 21 Apr. 2022 While there's plenty of competition in the period products startup space (see: Lola, Thinx), Aunt Flow's niche B2B focus is well-positioned for this moment of emergence from the pandemic. Emma Hinchliffe And Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2022 Those years could have been debilitating ones for the ensemble, especially one as niche as the Consort. Hannah Edgar, chicagotribune.com, 20 Apr. 2022 In more than a half-century in the toy business, Steve Amato has sold trendy items from the Furby to Hungry Hungry Hippos and Big Wheels, but considers trains as a secure niche that never goes out of style. Don Stacom, courant.com, 28 Feb. 2022 The Death Valley trip popped up on the radars of niche outdoor media outlets but didn’t win Banas the big-name sponsors that might fund his next adventure. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About niche

Dictionary Entries Near niche

nicety

niche

Nichiren

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Statistics for niche

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Niche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niche. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for niche

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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