so·​bri·​quet | \ ˈsō-bri-ˌkā How to pronounce sobriquet (audio) , -ˌket; ˌsō-bri-ˈkā, -ˈket How to pronounce sobriquet (audio) \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈsō-​bri-​ˌkā How to pronounce sobriquet (audio) , -​ˌket , ˈsü-​ ; ˌsō-​bri-​ˈkā , -​ˈket , ˌsü-​ \

Definition of sobriquet

: a descriptive name or epithet : nickname

Keep scrolling for more

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 Jyoti is the periodic sobriquet of the producer, songwriter, and musician Georgia Anne Muldrow, whose singular and entrancing work places her in a lineage that includes Alice Coltrane, Nina Simone, Erykah Badu, Gil Scott-Heron, and Pharoah Sanders. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Best Music of 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 Her mother’s sobriquet is Black Mamba: a snake that often counts mice among its prey. Oliver Munday, The Atlantic, "Yaa Gyasi on the Mysteries of Faith and Reason," 14 Aug. 2020 Though Royko would later retract it, the sobriquet stuck. Mark Brilliant, Washington Post, "The prescient politics and policies of Jerry Brown," 10 July 2020 The unknown assailant was given new local nicknames: the Diamond-Knot Killer and the Night Stalker, later changed to Original Night Stalker after another serial killer took that sobriquet. Anchorage Daily News, "Golden State Killer pleads guilty to murders and other crimes that terrorized California," 30 June 2020 The protest movement Hong Kong witnessed in 2014 was blessed with two credible sobriquets. Antony Dapiran, Quartz, "What do we call Hong Kong’s nameless “2019 protests” in 2020?," 20 Dec. 2019 Rather, the controversy is over his continued use of the sobriquet for cynical political advantage in a somewhat related manner to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s longtime false cultural appropriation of a Native American identity for careerist purposes. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "How Robert O’Rourke Became ‘Beto’," 12 Aug. 2019 But in a Monday post to MASK's Facebook page, organizers rejected the sobriquet. The Washington Post,, "Two mothers who fought gun violence for years were shot and killed in Chicago," 30 July 2019 In May 2017, a young hacker who goes by the sobriquet MalwareTech singlehandedly saved the world from the devastating WannaCry ransomware outbreak. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Security News This Week: WannaCry Hero Marcus Hutchins Won't Go to Jail for Old Hacking Crimes," 27 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of sobriquet

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sobriquet


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sobriquet

Time Traveler for sobriquet

Time Traveler

The first known use of sobriquet was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about sobriquet

Statistics for sobriquet

Last Updated

29 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sobriquet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sobriquet


How to pronounce sobriquet (audio) How to pronounce sobriquet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sobriquet

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sobriquet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sobriquet

Comments on sobriquet

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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