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 Volume One includes stories by Fredric Brown, Dorothy B. Hughes and Richard Stark (a pen name for Donald Westlake). Tom Nolan, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2023 Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher (who is just Ursula Vernon under a pen name) won best novel; Samantha Mills’ Rabbit Test won best short story; The Expanse and Everything Everywhere All At Once and Dune and Andor are all among the nominees and winners. David Pierce, The Verge, 29 Oct. 2023 Get Tickets on Fandango The Pigeon Tunnel (Theaters and Apple TV+, Oct. 20) Before becoming the 20th century’s premier spy novelist, David Cornwell (better known by his pen name, John le Carré) worked in British intelligence. Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2023 Elsewhere, writers like Kepner, Sten Russell (pen name of Stella Rush) and Norman Mailer used the magazine’s pages to illuminate pressing issues that remain all too familiar. Manuel Betancourt, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 Millz dabbled in romance writing at first, writing under a different pen name, but found a more energized readership in street lit. Jason Parham, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 Martin writes fantasy and romance novels from her home in southern New Hampshire, under a variety of pen names. Gina Tomaine,, 10 Sep. 2023 Baggott is the author of more than two dozen books to date, both under her own name as well as various pen names like Bridget Asher. Joe Otterson, Variety, 27 July 2023 Perry, born as Juliet Marion Hulme before taking up her pen name years later, was sentenced to 5 years in prison after being accused of bludgeoning Rieper to death in New Zealand with a brick wrapped in a stocking. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 13 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pen name was circa 1864

Dictionary Entries Near pen name

Cite this Entry

“Pen name.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

pen name

: a false name used by an author

More from Merriam-Webster on pen name

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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