nom de plume


plural noms de plume ˌnäm(z)-di-ˈplüm How to pronounce nom de plume (audio)
: a name that a writer uses instead of his or her real name : pseudonym, pen name
Under her nom de plume, [Stacey] Abrams, 44, has published eight romantic thrillers …Dartunorro Clark
A woman's name on a book practically guarantees marginalization—which is why so many geniuses, from the Brontë sisters to George Sand and George Eliot, chose to use male noms de plume.Erica Jong

Example Sentences

He wrote under a nom de plume.
Recent Examples on the Web The Detroit native, whose sweets-invoking nom de plume was inspired by a childhood stint as a bake-sale maven, raps in a hushed, almost jokey tone, which makes his grim lyrics — about pissing on the opposition’s graves, when not outright blowing off their heads — sound both seductive and scary. Will Dukes, Rolling Stone, 22 Sep. 2022 Chou, 35, was inspired — and enraged — by the strange case of Yi-Fen Chou, the nom de plume assumed by a middle-aged white poet from Indiana named Michael Derrick Hudson, who hoped that a Chinese name would improve his chances of finding a publisher for his poems. New York Times, 13 May 2022 Known in and beyond the media sector for his decades-spanning writing career under the nom de plume Stanley Bing, Schwartz penned several best-selling books about corporate strategy, including What Would Machiavelli Do? Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2023 Zen Pencils, the nom de plume of young artist Gavin Aung Than, has been drawing web comics based on the words of wise people. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 27 Feb. 2012 Graffiti artist Cyril Phan, known by the nom de plume Cyril Kongo, is famous for his exuberant paintings and mural combining vivid colors, lettering and subjects. Robb Report, 7 Dec. 2022 Horatio Nicholls was, in fact, the nom de plume of Wright himself. John Semley, The New Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 Hayford now got her own deal under the nom de plume Pillbox Patti, right? Chris Willman, Variety, 30 Sep. 2022 The titular portrait is figurative; our narrator, a disillusioned art critic in Buenos Aires using the nom de plume María Lydis, is investigating a mysterious figure. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nom de plume.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, pen name; probably coined in English

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nom de plume was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near nom de plume

Cite this Entry

“Nom de plume.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

nom de plume

plural noms de plume ˌnäm(z)-di- How to pronounce nom de plume (audio)

a phrase believed to have been made up in English as a French translation of pen name; from French nom "name" and de "of" and plume "(the) pen"

More from Merriam-Webster on nom de plume

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!