pen name


Definition of pen name

: an author's pseudonym

Examples of pen name in a Sentence

Samuel L. Clemens is better known by his pen name “Mark Twain.”

Recent Examples on the Web

The pen name daydreams about the book stopped, too. Haley Moss, Teen Vogue, "Telling My High School Class That I'm Autistic Is the Best Thing I've Ever Done," 12 Apr. 2019 That's been a surprisingly seamless process for romance novelists Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, who work together under the pen name Christina Lauren. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews Christina Lauren's 'My Favorite Half-Night Stand'," 1 Feb. 2019 Lethal White, the latest of the detective novels J.K. Rowling publishes under the pen name Robert Galbraith, is addictively immersive. Constance Grady, Vox, "J.K. Rowling’s latest Robert Galbraith novel is addictive, murderous fun," 18 Sep. 2018 One is Winter’s Tales by Karen Blixen, better known by her pen name Isak Dinesen. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Rupert Thomson Had The Worst Two Days of His Life in the Amazon," 13 July 2018 Liu's close friends Gao Yu, a veteran journalist in Beijing, and Wu Yangwei, better known by his pen name Ye Du, said Liu Xia was on a Finnair flight to Berlin that left Tuesday morning. NBC News, "Liu Xia, widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, leaves China," 10 July 2018 Liu's close friends Gao Yu, a veteran journalist in Beijing, and Wu Yangwei, better known by his pen name Ye Du, said Liu Xia took a Finnair flight to Berlin on Tuesday morning. Gerry Shih And Kirsten Grieshaber,, "China lets Nobel Prize winner's widow go to Berlin after long house arrest," 10 July 2018 His most famous pen name, W.E.B. Griffin, arose in the early 1980s. Kelly Kazek,, "Alabama has an interesting M*A*S*H connection, in addition to Wayne Rogers," 12 Mar. 2018 Her husband, known under the pen name Willy, recruits Colette to ghostwrite a novel to be published under his name. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Colette' Trailer: Keira Knightley Fights for Literary Ownership in Feminist Period Drama," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pen name.' 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 pen name

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for pen name

Last Updated

2 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for pen name

The first known use of pen name was circa 1864

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More Definitions for pen name

pen name


English Language Learners Definition of pen name

: a name used by a writer instead of the writer's real name

pen name


Kids Definition of pen name

: a false name that an author uses on his or her work

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More from Merriam-Webster on pen name

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pen name

Spanish Central: Translation of pen name

Nglish: Translation of pen name for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pen name

What made you want to look up pen name? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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