no·​men·​cla·​ture | \ ˈnō-mən-ˌklā-chər How to pronounce nomenclature (audio) also nō-ˈmen-klə-ˌchu̇r, -ˈmeŋ-, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r \

Definition of nomenclature

1 : name, designation … the changing nomenclature of her streets is even more baffling …— Cornelia O. Skinner
2 : the act or process or an instance of naming nomenclature … is at its simplest the task of assigning a name to each distinct species— R. I. Smith
3a : a system or set of terms or symbols especially in a particular science, discipline, or art the nomenclature of inorganic chemistry
b : an international system of standardized New Latin names used in biology for kinds and groups of kinds of animals and plants

Other Words from nomenclature

nomenclatural \ ˌnō-​mən-​ˈklā-​ch(ə-​)rəl How to pronounce nomenclature (audio) \ adjective

Are nomenclature and Name Synonymous?

Nomenclature comes from a Latin word meaning "the assigning of names." English's name and noun are rooted in the Latinate nomen.

Examples of nomenclature in a Sentence

the nomenclatures of zoology and chemistry the nomenclature, “tuxedo,” derives from the fact that the jacket first became popular in the resort area of Tuxedo Park, New York
Recent Examples on the Web Artists who weren’t formally trained suddenly became known as self-taught, a fuzzy bit of nomenclature that’s probably too nuanced for its own good. New York Times, 7 July 2022 Due to similarities in nomenclature, free climbing and free soloing are often confused, especially by the media—however the two different types of climbing feature notable distinctions. Chris Brinlee Jr., Outside Online, 16 Mar. 2016 There are plenty of them on the market — exfoliating, volumizing, brass-busting — but clarifying shampoos have the most confusing nomenclature. Sarah Hoffmann, Allure, 24 Aug. 2022 Unlike chemical elements or asteroids, elementary particles have no official body overseeing nomenclature. Andrew Crumey, WSJ, 3 June 2022 Tennis isn't so much a sport as a culture—with its own rules, aesthetics, and nomenclature. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 July 2022 The new Google Wallet app is finally available, but this isn’t the first time that Google has used the wallet nomenclature. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 24 July 2022 And someone needs to explain family relationships and nomenclature to the child. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 Despite the nomenclature, the new model, to be called Purosangue, which means thoroughbred in Italian, will compete with SUVs from Volkswagen AG’s Lamborghini and other luxury car makers. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, 16 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of nomenclature

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nomenclature

borrowed from Latin nōmenclātūra "assigning of names to things," from nōmen "name" + calātus, past participle of calāre "to announce, proclaim" + -ūra -ure — more at name entry 1, low entry 3

Note: The Latin word is formed after earlier nōmenclātor "slave tasked with telling his master the names of clients and others encountered publicly"—see nomenclator.

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The first known use of nomenclature was in 1610

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nomenclature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for nomenclature


no·​men·​cla·​ture | \ ˈnō-mən-ˌklā-chər also nō-ˈmen-klə-ˌchu̇(ə)r, -ˈmeŋ-, -klə-chər, -klə-ˌt(y)u̇(ə)r \

Medical Definition of nomenclature

: a system of terms used in a particular science especially : an international system of standardized New Latin names used in biology for kinds and groups of kinds of animals and plants — see binomial nomenclature

Other Words from nomenclature

nomenclatural \ ˌnō-​mən-​ˈklāch-​(ə-​)rəl How to pronounce nomenclature (audio) \ adjective
nomenclaturally \ -​ē How to pronounce nomenclature (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on nomenclature

Nglish: Translation of nomenclature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nomenclature for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nomenclature


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