niche

noun
\ ˈnich How to pronounce niche (audio) also ˈnēsh or ˈnish How to pronounce niche (audio) \

Essential Meaning of niche

1 : a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone I found a niche for myself after high school. She finally found her niche as a teacher.
2 : the situation in which a business's products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people
3 technical : an environment that has all the things that a particular plant or animal needs in order to live the species that fill an environmental/ecological niche

Full Definition of niche

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a recess in a wall especially for a statue
b : something (such as a sheltered or private space) that resembles a recess in a wall
2a : a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted finally found her niche
b : a habitat supplying the factors necessary for the existence of an organism or species
c : the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption
d : a specialized market

niche

verb
\ ˈnich also ˈnēsh or ˈnish How to pronounce niche (audio) \
niched; niching

Definition of niche (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place in or as if in a niche (see niche entry 1)

Illustration of niche

Illustration of niche

Noun

niche 1a

In the meaning defined above

Synonyms for niche

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

How do you pronounce niche? Is it \NEESH\ or \NICH\?

Noun

There is a debate about how you are supposed to pronounce niche. There are two common pronunciation variants, both of which are currently considered correct: \NEESH\ (rhymes with sheesh) and \NICH\ (rhymes with pitch). \NICH\ is the more common one and the older of the two pronunciations. It is the only pronunciation given for the word in all English dictionaries until the 20th century, when \NEESH\ was first listed as a pronunciation variant in Daniel Jones's English Pronouncing Dictionary (1917). \NEESH\ wasn’t listed as a pronunciation in our dictionaries until our 1961 Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, and it wasn’t entered into our smaller Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary until 1993. Even then, it was marked in the Collegiate as a pronunciation that was in educated use but not considered acceptable until 2003.

All this is to say that the historical pronunciation has been \NICH\, and that \NEESH\ is a relative newcomer that came about likely under influence from French pronunciation conventions. At this point in time in the U.S., \NICH\ is still the more common pronunciation, but \NEESH\ is gaining ground. Our evidence suggests that in British English, \NEESH\ is now the more common pronunciation.

Examples of niche in a Sentence

Noun To succeed in this new world, you have to sell yourself. You go to a brand-name college, not to imbibe the wisdom of its professors, but to make impressions and connections. You pick a niche that can bring attention to yourself and then develop your personal public relations efforts to let the world know who you are. — Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review, 7 Jan. 2001 The ivory-billed woodpecker, wan ghost of southern woodlands, may actually be flying forth from its niche in extinction. — Frank Graham, Jr., Audubon, May/June 2000 Creatures in the genus Rickettsia occupy a niche between bacteria and viruses. They carry much of their own cellular equipment and are vulnerable to antibiotics, but like viruses they need to invade living cells in order to grow. — Wayne Biddle, A Field Guide to Germs, 1995 No, a safe and humble backbencher's niche in the Senate was the inheritance of a Julius these days. — Colleen McCullough, The First Man in Rome, 1990 A dozen or so fey young monks in saffron robes and shaven heads wafted from quiet niche to niche begging alms and looking very flesh-bound to my jaded eyes. — Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987 I found a niche for myself after high school. She finally found her niche as a teacher. the species that fill an environmental niche Verb The most moving of all the museums in Russia, right now, is also the smallest and the most unlikely. Niched with no fuss whatever in what was a communal apartment high in the annex of the former Sheremetyev Palace in St. Petersburg, it is devoted to a great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966). — John Russell, New York Times Book Review, 1 Jan. 1995
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cybersecurity is a true crossover niche of the technology industry. Danny Lopez, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 Because golf course planning is a separate niche of its own, city officials will go for a second contract to cover the future of the golf course. Steve Lord, chicagotribune.com, 22 Dec. 2021 While participation has continued to reach impressive levels, the community is still a bit niche and has formed a space for those involved to come together regardless of skill level. Ian Garcia, The Arizona Republic, 16 Dec. 2021 Variety was always niche, catering to a very small readership, averaging 30,000 subscribers. Tim Gray, Variety, 11 Nov. 2021 Haute couture is quite niche, especially for a young designer. Alex Kessler, Vogue, 27 July 2021 Within this clear framework, Johnson was able to carve out her own niche of recognizable looks that'll still work in a year or 10. Glamour, 30 Dec. 2021 With Resurrections now out in the world, Groff talked about bonding with Wachowski over a love of San Francisco, having Keanu make Hamilton jokes at him, and how his niche is quickly becoming mouth horror. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 23 Dec. 2021 Smaller venture funds are finding their own niche in the growing crypto market. Yuliya Chernova, WSJ, 13 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Podcasting allows business owners to talk about their background, mission, and purpose for the brand and give authority to niche topics. Ellevate, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 For example, whatever SaaS niche your company competes in, your website is probably ranking for a thousand or so keywords. Nick Brown, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 However niche the use case, the Pilot speaks volumes of the iPad’s endless versatility. Steven Aquino, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 Marketing your services to niche segments does not alter the foundation that your organization was built on. Allison Netzer, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 The program is the latest effort by Facebook to build its relationships and long-term loyalty among small businesses, many of whom rely on the social network to place ads targeted to niche demographics who may be interested in their services. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 21 Sep. 2021 The #SOSCuba hashtag quickly spread through the diaspora community, rippling through pages from musicians like Cuban reggaeton artist El Uniko to niche Cuban-American comedy influencers like Los Pichy Boys and Mister Red. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 12 July 2021 After falling out of touch for years, Alton and Belassen reunited over coffee in 2018 to talk about starting a social group similar to niche soccer clubs around the world, such as Bowery FC in New York and The Ringleaders FC in Montreal. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 24 Apr. 2021 From flexible adaptation to biophilic designs to niche co-working and more, architecture and design firms have responded to the hurdles of the late- and post-pandemic workplace environment. Jeffrey Steele, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2021

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

Noun

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1753, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for niche

Noun and Verb

French, from Middle French, from nicher to nest, from Vulgar Latin *nidicare, from Latin nidus nest — more at nest

Learn More About niche

Dictionary Entries Near niche

nicety

niche

Nichiren

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for niche

Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Niche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niche. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for niche

niche

noun
\ ˈnich How to pronounce niche (audio) \

Kids Definition of niche

1 : an open hollow space in a wall (as for a statue)
2 : a place, job, or use for which a person or a thing is best fitted She found her niche in teaching.

niche

noun
\ ˈnich sometimes ˈnish or ˈnēsh \

Medical Definition of niche

: crater typical niche formation resulting from an ulcer

More from Merriam-Webster on niche

Nglish: Translation of niche for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of niche for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about niche

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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