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


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

The lawsuit also links the fraternity member to two other young men who killed themselves but are referred to with pseudonyms. CBS News, "After string of deaths at Truman State University, fraternity brother accused of urging suicides," 3 Aug. 2019 Ida, the younger by two years, had quietly discovered a knack for writing romance novels, and, under the pseudonym Mary Burchell, had begun publishing them with Mills & Boon, the British equivalent of Harlequin. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Ida and Louise Cook, Two Unusual Heroines of the Second World War," 3 Sep. 2019 The women's videos generally appeared on the GirlsDoPorn site under a pseudonym, but this provided little protection. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, " faces trial for allegedly filming 22 women under false pretenses," 31 Aug. 2019 Fries began calling hospitals and eventually reached someone at Hopkins who confirmed her sister had been admitted under a pseudonym as a safety precaution. Jessica Anderson,, "Woman injured when Baltimore police opened fire on wanted man is worse off than chief stated, sister says," 30 Aug. 2019 The document was filed in support of the couple’s request to use pseudonyms. Josh Kovner,, "In lawsuit, Catholic couple says religious bias drove DCF to remove gay daughter from home," 16 Aug. 2019 And the value of anonymous political expression is critical, something realized by our Founders, who regularly wrote under pseudonyms, as did later politicians, including Abraham Lincoln. Jeremy Carl, National Review, "We Need Donor-Privacy Legislation Now," 12 Aug. 2019 Those angered begin to probe for the person behind the pseudonym. Washington Post, "A beautiful lesson in empathy other best books for children and young adults this month," 10 Sep. 2019 One woman, who was given the pseudonym Jane (fake names were assigned to all participants), describes giving a tour to students who came through her workplace. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "New research examines the treacherous experience of being “fat” at work," 9 Sep. 2019

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

22 Oct 2019

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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

What made you want to look up pseudonym? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

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