no·​men·​cla·​ture ˈnō-mən-ˌklā-chər How to pronounce nomenclature (audio)
 also  nō-ˈmen-klə-ˌchu̇r,
: name, designation
… the changing nomenclature of her streets is even more baffling …Cornelia O. Skinner
: the act or process or an instance of naming
nomenclature … is at its simplest the task of assigning a name to each distinct speciesR. I. Smith
: a system or set of terms or symbols especially in a particular science, discipline, or art
the nomenclature of inorganic chemistry
: an international system of standardized New Latin names used in biology for kinds and groups of kinds of animals and plants
nomenclatural adjective

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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 Next to the Miata's general freshening for 1994, Mazda adopts a new nomenclature for its special-edition models: the M Edition. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, 18 May 2023 Cult-inspiring and consistently psychedelic, P-Funk has been touring and producing funk classics, always with new nomenclature and personnel, for more than 30 years. Joshua Medintz, The Enquirer, 14 July 2023 The past 12 months have provided people with a whole new schema of aesthetic nomenclature, each foodstuff connected to some kind of inherent moral quality. Daniel Rodgers, Vogue, 28 Sep. 2023 The term has taken on fraught political valence in recent years as the preferred nomenclature of Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sammy Westfall, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 Using current Lexus nomenclature, the TZ450e could likely use a similar 63.4-kWh battery as the all-wheel-drive RZ450e on sale today, and the TZ550e could carry a larger battery pack with improved range. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 31 July 2023 The scientific bodies that oversee biological nomenclature are now grappling with demands for change. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2023 The industry has retained nomenclature relating to an old world while expanding its reach geographically and in terms of customer base, amid advances in technology (like air conditioning and central heat, not just marketing) and climate change. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 13 July 2023 In nomenclature, the difference between the Kia EV6 GT and the lesser EV6 GT-Line models is slight. Frankie Cruz, Car and Driver, 16 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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.

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nomenclature was in 1610


Dictionary Entries Near nomenclature

Cite this Entry

“Nomenclature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


no·​men·​cla·​ture ˈnō-mən-ˌklā-chər How to pronounce nomenclature (audio)
: a system of terms used in a particular science, field of knowledge, or art
especially : the scientific names for plants and animals used in biology compare binomial nomenclature

from Latin nomenclatura "a calling by name, list of names," derived from nomen "name" and calatus, past participle of calare "to call"

Medical Definition


ˈnō-mən-ˌklā-chər also nō-ˈmen-klə-ˌchu̇(ə)r, -ˈmeŋ-, -klə-chər, -klə-ˌt(y)u̇(ə)r
: 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
nomenclatural adjective
nomenclaturally adverb

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