or nee

[ ney ]
/ neɪ /


born; formerly known as (placed in front of a previous name, in apposition following the person’s current or recognized name): Jackie Kennedy Onassis, née Bouvier;Marilyn Monroe, née Norma Jean Mortensen.



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Origin of née

First recorded in 1750–60; from French née, feminine of (past participle of naître “to be born”), ultimately derived from Latin nātus; see origin at nascent

usage note for née

Née has long been used in English, as in French, to pair a woman’s married name with her maiden name. Since women are more likely to change their names in adulthood, the feminine-inflected form of this French word, spelled with a second letter e , is the one most widely used and recognized.
While in French a man’s original name would be noted with the masculine form , some English speakers are only familiar with the form née . It is not uncommon to see this feminine form used for masculine names, or inanimate objects: the Tennessee Titans, née the Houston Oilers. On the other hand, because English has no gender inflection, it is normal for borrowed words to lose gender markings, so the masculine form is also sometimes seen modifying a woman’s name: the singer P!nk, né Alecia Beth Moore.
It is more elegant to use the form née to introduce a feminine name, and the masculine form for men and inanimate things or places. When writing about transgender people, it is best to use only their chosen names. However, if a trans person chooses to also use a birth name or other previous name, the convention in English is to use the form of né(e) that reflects the gender of the person, not the former name: Michael Dillon, né Laura . Include former names in descriptions only when they clarify or provide important additional information about a person.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for née

British Dictionary definitions for née



/ (neɪ) /


indicating the maiden name of a married womanMrs Bloggs née Blandish

Word Origin for née

C19: from French: past participle (fem) of naître to be born, from Latin nascī
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