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nickname

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noun nick·name \ˈnik-ˌnām\

Definition of nickname

  1. 1 :  a usually descriptive name given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to a person, place, or thing

  2. 2 :  a familiar form of a proper name (as of a person or a city)

Examples of nickname in a Sentence

  1. His mother gave him the nickname Winky when he was a baby.

  2. Earvin Magic Johnson got his nickname from the way he handled a basketball.

Recent Examples of nickname from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nickname.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nickname

Middle English nekename additional name, alteration (resulting from misdivision of an ekename) of ekename, from eke eke, also + name name


2

nickname

verb nick·name

Definition of nickname

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  misname, miscall

  3. 2 :  to give a nickname to

nicknamer

noun

Recent Examples of nickname from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nickname.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nickname

1536


NICKNAME Defined for English Language Learners

nickname

play
noun

Definition of nickname for English Language Learners

  • : a name (such as “Moose” or “Lady Bird”) that is different from your real name but is what your family, friends, etc., call you when they are talking to you or about you

nickname

verb

Definition of nickname for English Language Learners

  • : to give (someone) a name that is not that person's real name : to give a nickname to (someone)


NICKNAME Defined for Kids

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nickname

play
noun nick·name \ˈnik-ˌnām\

Definition of nickname for Students

  1. 1 :  a usually descriptive name used in addition to a person's given name My brother had the nickname “Nosy.”

  2. 2 :  a familiar form of a proper name “Bill” and “Willie” are nicknames for “William.”

History for nickname

In the Middle Ages there was an English word ekename that meant “an extra name.” It was made of a word eke that meant “extra part” added to the word name. It started with a vowel, so an was used with this word instead of a. When an ekename was said fast, it sounded a bit like a nekename. As a result, some people thought the word started with n and began to pronounce it nekename. They did not know they were taking n away from an, adding it to ekename, and so making a new word. From this new word came the word nickname that we use now.


2

nickname

play
verb nick·name

Definition of nickname for Students

nicknamed

;

nicknaming

  1. :  to give a usually descriptive name to that is additional to a given name



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