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

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Other Words from nomenclature

nomenclatural \ ˌnō-​mən-​ˈklāch-​rəl , -​ˈklā-​chə-​ How to pronounce nomenclature (audio) \ adjective

Are nomenclature and Name Synonymous?

In his 1926 Dictionary of Modern English Usage, grammarian H. W. Fowler asserted that it was wrong to use nomenclature as a synonym for name; he declared that nomenclature could only mean "a system of naming or of names." It is true that nomenclature comes from the Latin nomenclatura, meaning "the assigning of names," but the name sense was the first to appear in English (it is documented as long ago as 1610), and it has been considered perfectly standard for centuries.

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 Those scientists will continue to use their letter/number framework, but the past few months have shown that such nomenclature can be confusing to the general public. Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2021 Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan has captured the absurdity of this tendency toward excessive nomenclature with a story about his favorite topic: food., 9 July 2021 Krieger said that while some may bristle over the IZO nomenclature, even voluntary programs are considered an inclusionary zoning ordinance. Suzanne Baker,, 30 June 2021 More on the Land Cruiser Unlike the current LX570 model, which has a 5.7-liter V-8 engine, the new LX's nomenclature won't correspond with its engine displacement. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 22 June 2021 In cloud computing, the fog starts with the nomenclature. Adam Stern, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Apple would use an A14X processor in typical fashion with the A-series chip nomenclature for the iPad Pro, but the System-on-Chip (SoC) would be closer to the M1 than the A14. Chris Smith, BGR, 12 May 2021 These positions may have C-Suite titles or less formal nomenclature, but are typically a small few making decisions for many. Kimberly A. Whitler, Forbes, 5 June 2021 Since its launch, Rebundle has sold out on pre-orders. From packaging and production to composition and nomenclature, the business of braiding hair is nuanced. Ruth Samuel, Allure, 24 May 2021

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.

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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

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nomenclature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for nomenclature



English Language Learners Definition of nomenclature

formal : a system of names for things especially in science


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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