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90s Slang You Should Know


[nees] /nis/
a daughter of a person's brother or sister.
a daughter of a person's spouse's brother or sister.
Origin of niece
1250-1300; Middle English nece < Old French < Vulgar Latin *neptia, for Latin neptis granddaughter; replacing Middle English nifte, Old English nift niece (cognate with Old Frisian, Old High German nift, Dutch nicht, Old Norse nipt) < Germanic; akin to Lithuanian neptė̃, Sanskrit naptī; cf. nephew Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nieces
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He then left the room, intending to send a man and horse after the chaise, to desire his two nieces to return immediately.

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • Gushchin, do you give alms to your little nephews and nieces?

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • Associated with the empress in the palace were her sister and two nieces, all bearing like her the name Julia.

    Roman Women Alfred Brittain
  • She had her nieces and nephews to stay; Minna and Louie also came to take the waters.

    The Third Miss Symons Flora Macdonald Mayor
  • One day he was visiting her father when one of her nieces, taking some music from a drawer, brought with it a piece of embroidery.

British Dictionary definitions for nieces


a daughter of one's sister or brother
Word Origin
C13: from Old French niece granddaughter, ultimately from Latin neptis granddaughter
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
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Word Origin and History for nieces



c.1300, from Old French niece "niece, granddaughter" (12c., Modern French nièce), earlier niepce, from Latin neptia (also source of Portuguese neta, Spanish nieta), from neptis "granddaughter," in Late Latin "niece," fem. of nepos "grandson, nephew" (see nephew). Replaced Old English nift, from Proto-Germanic *neftiz, from the same PIE root (Old English also used broðordohter and nefene).

Until c.1600, it also commonly meant "a granddaughter" or any remote female descendant. Cf. cognate Spanish nieta, Old Lithuanian nepte, Sanskrit naptih "granddaughter;" Czech net, Old Irish necht, Welsh nith, German Nichte "niece."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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