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.

Example Sentences

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 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 The sobriquet riled him. Tim Blanks, CNN, 4 Oct. 2022 The combined company announced the new sobriquet at the HLTH conference in Boston. Matthew Herper, STAT, 21 Oct. 2021 King Louis XI was far from the flashiest king of France, his reputation for thriftiness earning him the lame-o sobriquet Louis the Prudent. Adam Erace, Fortune, 7 Dec. 2022 That, however, could easily be a sobriquet for Deception Pass Bridge. Liza Weisstuch, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 Greetings from Nashville, mostly known today as Music City, but its other sobriquet -- the Athens of the South -- suits it as well, and has for far longer. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 11 Aug. 2022 The change to a warmer, more hospitable sounding sobriquet comes at a time when golf’s demographics continue to evolve to more closely resemble the overall U.S. population. Mike Dojc, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 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 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


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