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

Essential Meaning of nomenclature

formal : a system of names for things especially in science botanical nomenclature the nomenclatures of zoology and chemistry

Full 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-​ˈklāch-​rəl , -​ˈklā-​chə-​ 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 Regardless of medical nomenclature, Elliott sees one outcome as certain. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 10 Dec. 2021 By the way, sorry about the hell that is BMW model nomenclature. Dan Neil, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021 Until the brand tells us otherwise, though, our money's on Acura pinning the ADX nomenclature to the latest addition in its SUV lineup. Greg Fink, Car and Driver, 27 Dec. 2021 After prison, and some bumps in the road with Marcelino, her non-con boyfriend (to use the show’s nomenclature), Santiago’s become a realtor, and the couple has had two children together. Kate Aurthur, Variety, 1 Oct. 2021 The debate over nomenclature—why, critical race theory isn’t even taught in third grade!—is mischievous and meant to obscure. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2021 Hunt, who lived in Dallas, reportedly named the game in an NFL owners meeting in the 1960s, carrying over an already popular nomenclature used in college football. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Oct. 2021 Participants will learn boating nomenclature, how to prepare for and handle boating emergencies, proper seamanship, VHF marine radio procedures, knots, engines, trailering, docking, navigation rules and aids to navigation. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 7 Sep. 2021 Identifying the most effective messaging by testing different language, terminology, ads, nomenclature, and product names. Gary Drenik, Forbes, 21 Sep. 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

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nomenclature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 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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