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 But after more than 10 years, multiple drafts and two publishers, Williams’ novel — a lesbian romance written under her pen name, Zoe Amos — is being released by Sapphire Books on March 1. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego author’s lesbian romance novel celebrates midlife love," 27 Feb. 2021 The nearly 500-page manifesto, written under the pen name Spartacus Falanghina, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the difficulties of selling booze in a state heavily influenced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Salt Lake Tribune, "This wine warrior wants Utah’s next ballot initiative to be liquor privatization," 25 Feb. 2021 Florence becomes obsessed with her employer (real name, Helen Wilcox), but when the two travel to Morocco on a research trip, Helen vanishes — leaving her entire life, including her highly valuable pen name, up for grabs. Mary Sollosi,, "The insights and inspirations behind Alexandra Andrews’ thrilling debut Who Is Maud Dixon?," 19 Feb. 2021 Monika Michelle Arceneaux practiced as a lawyer after graduating from Xavier University of Louisiana and the Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law, but turned to writing in 2018, using the pen name of Monika Michelle. Staff Report,, "Three churches collaborate to present evening of one-act plays," 23 Dec. 2020 And Stacey Abrams, under the pen name Selena Montgomery, has published romance novels. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Stacey Abrams Is the Author of Eight Unapologetically Hot Romance Novels," 3 Dec. 2020 As reported by the New York Times, people had just believed that Ajar was a pen name for Pavlowitch, until Pavlowitch revealed Gary was the real Ajar. Lia Beck,, "There’s A Stranger-Than-Fiction Story Behind The Life Ahead," 14 Nov. 2020 An even closer relationship between Lincoln and popular culture was to the humorist David Ross Locke, who wrote under the pen name Petroleum V. Nasby, a vicious lout who lampooned Northern Democrats for their support of the Confederacy. Washington Post, "The 19th-century culture that shaped Abraham Lincoln," 13 Nov. 2020 Hank Early is the pen name of author John Mantooth, listed above. Kelly Kazek |, al, "Books by Alabama authors any horror fan would love," 5 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of pen name

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pen name

Time Traveler for pen name Time Traveler

The first known use of pen name was circa 1864

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pen name

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pen name.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pen name

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!