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

Origin of pseudonym

1840–50; < Greek pseudṓnymon false name; see pseud-, -onym

Synonyms for pseudonym Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pseudonym

Contemporary Examples of pseudonym

Historical Examples of pseudonym

  • Possibly the same honor, under my pseudonym, may have been intended for me.

  • Compare "pseudonym," where the prefix is contracted, and "nonentity."


    Paul Allardyce

  • This was published in 1638, under the pseudonym of Domingo Gonsales.

    Moon Lore

    Timothy Harley

  • He prefers, as his pseudonym implies, to remain an unknown quantity.

    From Jungle to Java

    Arthur Keyser

  • It is he who figures in our story under the pseudonym of de Laville.

    The Indian Chief

    Gustave Aimard

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