pseu·​do·​nym | \ ˈsü-də-ˌnim How to pronounce pseudonym (audio) \

Definition of pseudonym

: a fictitious name especially : pen name

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Synonyms for pseudonym


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Pseudonym, has its origins in the Greek word pseudōnymos, which means "bearing a false name." Greek speakers formed their word by combining pseud-, meaning "false," and onyma, meaning "name." French speakers adopted the Greek word as pseudonyme, and English speakers later modified the French word into pseudonym. Many celebrated authors have used pseudonyms. Samuel Clemens wrote under the pseudonym "Mark Twain," Charles Lutwidge Dodgson assumed the pseudonym "Lewis Carroll," and Mary Ann Evans used "George Eliot" as her pseudonym.

Examples of pseudonym in a Sentence

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of the American writer Samuel L. Clemens. the most notorious serial killer of the 19th century remains known only by the pseudonym of Jack the Ripper
Recent Examples on the Web Nakamoto the pseudonym for Bitcoin's creator, whose identity remains a mystery to this day. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Famed economist Jeffrey Sachs rails against Bitcoin: Highly polluting and ‘almost like counterfeiting’," 16 Mar. 2021 DeVoe, who works for CBS-affiliate WKRG, posted the email to her Facebook page, which was sent via a pseudonym and fake email. Tandra Smith |, al, "Black Alabama news anchor receives racist email, replies ‘be blessed’," 30 Dec. 2020 Ariel is a pseudonym CNN agreed to use to protect her family's privacy. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Stories of children separated from parents highlight the price of Hong Kong's coronavirus success," 17 Mar. 2021 In addition to his corporate job, Schwartz wrote about workplace culture under the pseudonym Stanley Bing. Lex Haris, CBS News, "Gil Schwartz, former CBS communications chief and author, has died at 68," 3 May 2020 Trump contemplated joining Parler under a pseudonym, Matze said. Chron, "CEO of social media app Parler says board fired him," 4 Feb. 2021 Unlike the others, William Bowery has no discography of note—so fans quickly began to suspect the name was a pseudonym for Alwyn. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Taylor Swift Revealed Boyfriend Joe Alwyn Co-Wrote Two Songs on 'Folklore'," 26 Nov. 2020 Produced by Dumile himself under the pseudonym Metal Fingers, the album couldn't have been more out of step with hip-hop's mainstream. NBC News, "Masked rapper MF Doom dies at 49," 31 Dec. 2020 The very name Ferrante — the pseudonym of the Italian novelist — evokes the tangle of impulses that drive her heroines, her mothers and daughters torn between mutual dependence and contempt, between the desire to nourish each other and betray. New York Times, "Times Critics’ Top Books of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020

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

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pseudonym

French pseudonyme, from Greek pseudōnymos bearing a false name, from pseud- + onyma name — more at name

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Time Traveler for pseudonym

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The first known use of pseudonym was in 1817

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Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pseudonym.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of pseudonym

: a name that someone (such as a writer) uses instead of his or her real name

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