so·​bri·​quet | \ˈsō-bri-ˌkā, -ˌket;ˌsō-bri-ˈkā, -ˈket \
variants: or less commonly \ˈsō-​bri-​ˌkā, -​ˌket, ˈsü-​; ˌsō-​bri-​ˈkā, -​ˈket, ˌsü-​ \

Definition of sobriquet 

: a descriptive name or epithet : nickname

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Did You Know?

This synonym of nickname has the same meaning in modern French as it does in English. In Middle French, however, its earlier incarnation soubriquet referred to both a nickname and a tap under the chin. Centuries later, the connection between these two meanings isn't clear, but what is clear is that the "nickname" meaning of sobriquet was well established in French by the time English speakers borrowed the term in the mid-17th century - and was the only meaning that was adopted. In current English, the spelling sobriquet is most common, but soubriquet is also an accepted variant.

Examples of sobriquet in a Sentence

Baseball player Ty Cobb was also known by the sobriquet “The Georgia Peach.” tagged her with the sobriquet “peanut” because of her diminutive size

Recent Examples on the Web

Exclusive but not elite, it was stigmatized with the sobriquet University of Spoiled Children. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "Can USC Survive Scandal and Shed Its Spoiled-Kid Reputation Once and For All?," 10 July 2018 His first sobriquet was Prince Cartier, a twist on his last name, but also indicative of a budding interest in fashion and luxury brands. Ben Detrick, New York Times, "Playboi Carti Conquers the Paris Runway," 29 June 2018 The group quickly received its own medieval sobriquet: the new Hansa League, a reference to the alliance of trading guilds that flourished along the shores of the Baltic and North Seas in the late Middle Ages. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Charlemagne to the Rescue," 22 June 2018 Now, Sadr is poised to assume a new sobriquet: kingmaker, after leading a political coalition to what appeared to be an early lead in national elections in Iraq. Washington Post, "How Moqtada al-Sadr went from anti-American outlaw to potential kingmaker in Iraq," 14 May 2018 Bridgewater told the crowd, and one couldn’t have asked for a much more full-blooded expression of that sobriquet. Howard Reich,, "Dee Dee Bridgewater embraces her Memphis soul," 2 June 2018 The Iroquois, who lived in Ontario and upstate New York, used the same sobriquet for the French-British boundary in the Seven Years’ War. Porter Fox, Outside Online, "Exploring America's Forgotten Border," 1 June 2018 The sobriquet followed him throughout his career, which lasted through 1985 and included six All Star selections. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Rusty Staub, baseball’s clutch-hitting ‘Le Grand Orange,’ dies at 73," 29 Mar. 2018 President Trump may be the most prolific name-caller in politics these days, but Gov. Jerry Brown offered a new sobriquet on Tuesday for a key member of the president's Cabinet, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. John Myers,, "Essential Politics: California challenges ‘Outlaw Pruitt’ over rules on vehicle emissions," 2 May 2018

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

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sobriquet


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Dictionary Entries near sobriquet





sob sister

sob story

sob stuff

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Time Traveler for sobriquet

The first known use of sobriquet was in 1646

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English Language Learners Definition of sobriquet

: a name or phrase that describes the character of someone or something

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