so·​bri·​quet ˈsō-bri-ˌkā How to pronounce sobriquet (audio)
-ˈket How to pronounce sobriquet (audio)
variants or less commonly soubriquet
ˈsō-bri-ˌkā How to pronounce sobriquet (audio)
: a descriptive name or epithet : nickname

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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 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 Justice remained eternally grateful for the naval officer’s sobriquet. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Over the years, a variety of sobriquets have been used to describe overweight ballplayers. Bill Swank, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Dec. 2023 Rock star is only one of Chrissie Hynde’s sobriquets. Jeff Slate, WSJ, 17 Dec. 2023 Thalaivar translates literally as leader and is one of the laudatory sobriquets used to describe Rajinikanth. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 11 Sep. 2023 The plethora of sobriquets may seem peculiar, but this shouldn’t detract from the danger posed by the present heat in southern Europe. Chris Baraniuk, WIRED, 14 July 2023 Thalaivar literally means leader and is one of the sobriquets used to describe Rajinikanth. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 June 2023 Much of it takes place on the road, in hotel rooms and on tour buses, in the company of Annie Clark—the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, style queen, slippery customer, and good sport, who performs under the sobriquet, or nom de guitare, of St. Vincent. Anthony Lan, The New Yorker, 10 Sep. 2021 Battle has created many unusual electronic musical instruments under the sobriquet of Look Mum No Computer, including an organ made out of singing Furbys and a synthesizer-bicycle hybrid. IEEE Spectrum, 21 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sobriquet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sobriquet was in 1646


Dictionary Entries Near sobriquet

Cite this Entry

“Sobriquet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also soubriquet
: a descriptive name or phrase : nickname
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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