Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[nik-neym] /ˈnɪkˌneɪm/
a name added to or substituted for the proper name of a person, place, etc., as in affection, ridicule, or familiarity: He has always loathed his nickname of “Whizzer.”.
a familiar form of a proper name, as Jim for James and Peg for Margaret.
verb (used with object), nicknamed, nicknaming.
to give a nickname to (a person, town, etc.); call by a nickname.
Archaic. to call by an incorrect or improper name; misname.
Origin of nickname
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English nekename, for ekename (the phrase an ekename being taken as a nekename). See eke2, name; cf. newt
Related forms
nicknamer, noun
unnicknamed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for nickname
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His parentage was obscure, and he was generally known only by his nickname of Professor.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • My dear sir, perhaps you don't know that my nickname since the age of five has been 'Duffer?'

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • After a joyous ramble, 'Ockley's nickname still sticks to him!'

    Echoes of the War J. M. Barrie
  • We call him the Philosopher, a nickname folks have given him in the neighbourhood.

  • This nickname, which she received full in the face for the first time, fell on her like a blow.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for nickname


a familiar, pet, or derisory name given to a person, animal, or place: his nickname was Lefty because he was left-handed
a shortened or familiar form of a person's name: Joe is a nickname for Joseph
(transitive) to call by a nickname; give a nickname to
Word Origin
C15 a nekename, mistaken division of an ekename an additional name, from eke addition + name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for nickname

mid-15c., misdivision of ekename (c.1300), an eke name, literally "an additional name," from Old English eaca "an increase," related to eacian "to increase" (see eke; also see N). As a verb from 1530s. Related: Nicknamed; nicknaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for nickname

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for nickname

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for nickname