[ sood-n-im ]
/ ˈsud n ɪm /


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


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Origin of pseudonym

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

historical usage of pseudonym

The English noun pseudonym comes via the French adjective and noun pseudonym, in French originally meaning “(pertaining to) one who writes or publishes under an alias,” and then “(pertaining to) a name chosen by someone to conceal his or her identity.”
The Greek origin of pseudonym (and even of its parts) is pretty obvious: Greek pseudṓnymos “under a false name, falsely called” is a compound whose first element pseudo- “false, lying” is a combining form of pseûdos “a lie.” The second element -ṓnymos is a combining form deriving from the noun ónoma (Doric and Aeolic ónyma ) “name.”
The English noun appeared in the early 1800s, but the adjective pseudonymous was recorded more than a century earlier, in Edward Phillips’s 1706 dictionary New World of Words. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pseudonym

British Dictionary definitions for pseudonym

/ (ˈsjuːdəˌnɪm) /


a fictitious name adopted, esp by an author

Derived forms of pseudonym

pseudonymity, 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