a fictitious name used by an author to conceal his or her identity; pen name.Compare allonym(def 1).

Nearby words

  1. pseudomyxoma peritonei,
  2. pseudoneoplasm,
  3. pseudonephritis,
  4. pseudoneuritis,
  5. pseudoneurogenic bladder,
  6. pseudonymity,
  7. pseudonymous,
  8. pseudonymously,
  9. pseudopapilledema,
  10. pseudoparalysis

Origin of pseudonym

1840–50; < Greek pseudṓnymon false name; see pseud-, -onym Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pseudonym

British Dictionary definitions for pseudonym



a fictitious name adopted, esp by an author
Derived Formspseudonymity, noun

Word Origin for pseudonym

C19: via French from Greek pseudōnumon

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 pseudonym



1828, in part a back-formation from pseudonymous, in part from German pseudonym and French pseudonyme (adj.), from Greek pseudonymos "having a false name, under a false name," from pseudes "false" (see pseudo-) + onyma, Aeolic dialectal variant of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).

"Possibly a dictionary word" at first [Barnhart]. Fowler calls it "a queer out-of-the-way term for an everyday thing." Properly in reference to made-up names; the name of an actual author or person of reputation affixed to a work he or she did not write is an allonym. An author's actual name affixed to his or her own work is an autonym (1867).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper