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See more synonyms for nickname on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.”
  2. a familiar form of a proper name, as Jim for James and Peg for Margaret.
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verb (used with object), nick·named, nick·nam·ing.
  1. to give a nickname to (a person, town, etc.); call by a nickname.
  2. Archaic. to call by an incorrect or improper name; misname.
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Origin of nickname

1400–50; late Middle English nekename, for ekename (the phrase an ekename being taken as a nekename). See eke2, name; cf. newt
Related formsnick·nam·er, nounun·nick·named, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nickname

epithet, style, tag, moniker, sobriquet, byword, appellation, handle, diminutive, denomination, label

Examples from the Web for nickname

Contemporary Examples of nickname

Historical Examples of nickname

  • 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.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for nickname


  1. a familiar, pet, or derisory name given to a person, animal, or placehis nickname was Lefty because he was left-handed
  2. a shortened or familiar form of a person's nameJoe is a nickname for Joseph
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  1. (tr) to call by a nickname; give a nickname to
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Word Origin for nickname

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper