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 series, which Amazon saved after Syfy canceled it, is based on the bestselling book series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who write under the pen name James S. A. Corey. Wired, "2 Million People Streamed the Fortnite World Cup Finals," 29 July 2019 Lynne Constantine also writes The Jack Logan Thriller series under the pen name L.C. Shaw. Carole Goldberg,, "Write Stuff: The sex lives of ‘Three Women’, ‘Opinionated Women’ and Edith Wharton," 11 July 2019 In October 2016, an Italian journalist came under fire after suggesting that Elena Ferrante was the pen name of Anita Raja, a translator. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "Elena Ferrante, Reclusive Novelist, Joins The Guardian as a Columnist," 18 Jan. 2018 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

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

11 Aug 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

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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