Definition: Nickname

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English nekename, alteration (due to a rebracketing of an ekename as a nekename) of earlier ekename (“nickname”), from eke (“also, additional”) + name (“name”).


nickname (plural nicknames)

  1. A familiar, invented given name for a person or thing used instead of the actual name of the person or thing, often based on some noteworthy characteristic.
    "The Big Apple" is a common nickname for New York City.
  2. A familiar, shortened, or diminutive name for a person or thing.
    My name is Jonathan, but I go by my nickname, Johnny.

Usage notes

Nicknames are often given in quotation marks between the first and last names. For example: Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.


nickname (third-person singular simple present nicknames, present participle nicknaming, simple past and past participle nicknamed)

  1. (transitive) To give a nickname to (a person or thing).
    Gerald, nicknamed "Jerry," was usually a very cheerful person.


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