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

Definition of pseudonym

: a fictitious name especially : pen name

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 Swift is known for her music’s bare-it-all, true-story approach, and Alwyn cowrote songs on the singer’s Folklore and Evermore albums under the pseudonym William Bowery. ELLE, 19 Apr. 2022 Doyon, 57, who used the pseudonym Commander X, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors with the Northern District of California. Andres Picon, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Mar. 2022 At the end of the first season, Penelope was unmasked as Lady Whistledown, a ye olde Gossip Girl–style columnist who operates under a pseudonym. Louis Staples, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 Mar. 2022 But despite putting a face to the often abstract refugee experience, Nawabi — who appears in the film under a pseudonym — has maintained his identity and his privacy, forgoing media appearances and interviews about the film. Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2022 Another was introduced under a pseudonym, then promptly announced herself as a candidate for lieutenant governor. New York Times, 19 Feb. 2022 In a unanimous decision, the court barred Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan from allowing the plaintiff to proceed under a pseudonym. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 17 Feb. 2022 Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the unknown founder of Bitcoin. Caroline Lester, The New Yorker, 9 June 2021 Within two months, Pablo, who is using a pseudonym to mask his identity from his employer, was earning up to 4,000 pesos or $80 a week, double his pay as a teacher. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of pseudonym was in 1817

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pseudonym.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pseudonym

Nglish: Translation of pseudonym for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pseudonym for Arabic Speakers


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