- a son of one's brother or sister.
- a son of one's spouse's brother or sister.
- an illegitimate son of a clergyman who has vowed celibacy (used as a euphemism).
- Obsolete. a direct descendant, especially a grandson.
- Obsolete. a remote male descendant, as a grandnephew or cousin.
Origin of nephew
Examples from the Web for nephew
Seven days after receiving the letter from Navarro, Abidogun had yet to break the “bad news” to his brother-in-law and his nephew.Ebola Racism Reaches a New Low in Texas
October 15, 2014
Her mother, brother, and nephew—and her brother-in-law did it, too.Quincy Jones Talks Chicago’s Mean Streets, Why Kanye West Is No Michael Jackson, and Bieber
September 25, 2014
Cardin is the nephew of Senator Ben Cardin and ran with his uncle putting all of his political resources behind him.Martin O’Malley Looks Stronger For 2016
June 27, 2014
At one point my sister was visiting with my nephew, who was very little at the time.How Megan Hilty Survived TV Flops ‘Smash’ and ‘Sean Saves the World’ With Grace
May 8, 2014
His nephew (Kyle Gallner) is struggling to come out of the closet.Courteney Cox Gets Personal About Her Directorial Debut, ‘Just Before I Go’
April 29, 2014
It was Chrysippus, prince of Clazomenæ, the nephew of Anaxagoras.
On his death-bed he charged his nephew to protect and cherish me as a sister.
His nephew, with his coat stripped off, was sitting on the side of the bed.
He was beginning to be more afraid and more distrustful of his nephew than ever.
There sat his nephew in the old place, apparently not having stirred.
- a son of one's sister or brother
Word Origin and History for nephew
c.1300, from Old French neveu (Old North French nevu) "grandson, descendant," from Latin nepotem (nominative nepos) "sister's son, grandson, descendant," in post-Augustan Latin, "nephew," from PIE *nepot- "grandchild," and in a general sense, "male descendant other than son" (cf. Sanskrit napat "grandson, descendant;" Old Persian napat- "grandson;" Old Lithuanian nepuotis "grandson;" Dutch neef; German Neffe "nephew;" Old Irish nia, genitive niath "son of a sister," Welsh nei). Used in English in all the classical senses until meaning narrowed in 17c., and also as a euphemism for "the illegitimate son of an ecclesiastic" (1580s). The Old English cognate, nefa "nephew, stepson, grandson, second cousin" survived to 16c.