pseu·​do·​nym | \ˈsü-də-ˌnim \

Definition of pseudonym 

: a fictitious name especially : pen name

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Synonyms for pseudonym


alias, nom de guerre

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Did You Know?

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

Who now remembers, for example, his bitchy film reviews for the Soho Weekly News, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Wardore Edgy? Vogue, "Need a New Read? Here Are the 4 Books We’re Loving Right Now," 15 Nov. 2018 Bitcoin, unveiled about 10 years ago by a person or people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, is a digital currency that exists on a computer network that allows users to transact directly with each other, cutting out traditional middlemen. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Crypto Pioneer David Chaum Says He’s Built a Better Bitcoin," 19 Sep. 2018 Cohen went through the trouble of setting up a limited liability company to make the payment, and using pseudonyms for both parties — but put his real name on the documents and used his Trump Organization email to set up a wire transfer. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "As Trump’s Attorney, Michael Cohen’s Loyalty Matters More Than His Lawyering," 13 Mar. 2018 The six victims are referred to by pseudonyms, and the charges stem from incidents in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2014. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Indictments detail Larry Nassar's abuse of gymnasts over 20-year period at Karolyi Ranch," 3 July 2018 As first reported by ESPN’s Paula Lavigne, the student—who is identified by the pseudonym Jane Doe—contends that Michigan State and the three players violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Michael Mccann,, "Title IX Lawsuit Over Players' Alleged Rape Adds to Michigan State's Growing Legal Troubles," 13 Apr. 2018 The firm’s four employees, who are anonymous, communicate with the outside world by email using the pseudonym Dave Bitcoin. Elliott Krause, WSJ, "A Fifth of All Bitcoin Is Missing. These Crypto Hunters Can Help," 5 July 2018 But according to Steve—who asked to use a pseudonym for fear of professional repercussions—the system also invites abuse. Rachel Nuwer, WIRED, "Silicon Valley’s Exclusive Salary Database," 1 July 2018 Just chew on this apiece: How could Hillary Clinton ever be prosecuted without implicating Obama, who emailed her using a pseudonym? John Kass,, "Obama’s silky lie and FBI bias in the Clinton investigation," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for pseudonym

Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for pseudonym

The first known use of pseudonym was in 1817

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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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Comments on pseudonym

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