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

Definition of pseudonym

: a fictitious name especially : pen name

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for pseudonym


alias, nom de guerre

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 rhetoric used in Daygame blogs such as Jamie's is inherently misogynistic and it’s doubtful any of the women featured consented to having their experience documented, pseudonym or not. Sara Macauley,, "Have You Been Daygamed? The New Method Men Are Using To 'Attract Amazing Women'," 22 Aug. 2019 Watkins sometimes awkwardly joined a cast of Asian women, most prominently a host who goes by Diana Printz, a pseudonym which is perhaps a nod to Wonder Woman’s alter-ego. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "The Weird, Dark History of 8chan," 6 Aug. 2019 Roberts had previously communicated with NPR through Facebook Messenger, but under a pseudonym for fear of harassment. Fox News, "Creator of 'Storm Area 51' comes forward after satirical Facebook page takes off," 18 July 2019 At a technical level, this means the Libra blockchain will rely on pseudonyms in the form of strings of letters and numbers that represent people’s identities. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Facebook Cryptocurrency: Calibra’s Privacy Implications," 18 June 2019 The work, written under a pseudonym, has become a key part of the modern white supremacist and Neo-Nazi canon, and is frequently mentioned on extremist websites. Erin Woo, The Mercury News, "Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: Fatal victims identified, suspect probe widens to Nevada," 29 July 2019 Silex was reportedly created by a 14-year-old hacker who goes by the pseudonym Light Leafon, according to ZDNet. Xavier Harding, Fortune, "'Silex' Malware Renders Internet-of-Things Devices Useless. Here's How to Prevent It," 26 June 2019 Prosecution argued that Epstein still had the means to escape, citing an expired Austrian passport with a pseudonym found by agents in a safe. Variety, The Mercury News, "Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein reportedly found injured in jail cell," 25 July 2019 Every Bitcoin transaction is public, but users operate under pseudonyms. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Everyone Wants Facebook's Libra to Be Regulated. But How?," 18 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pseudonym

Listen to Our Podcast about pseudonym

Statistics for pseudonym

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pseudonym

The first known use of pseudonym was in 1817

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pseudonym



English Language Learners Definition of pseudonym

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!