Pen Name | Definition of Pen Name by Merriam-Webster

pen name


Definition of pen name

: an author's pseudonym

Examples of pen name in a Sentence

Samuel L. Clemens is better known by his pen name “Mark Twain.”
Recent Examples on the Web Sholom Aleichem, the pen name of Shalom Rabinowitz (1859-1916), was a masterful storyteller whose keen eye, wit and humor earned him the reputation as the Jewish Mark Twain. Penny Schwartz,, 6 Oct. 2021 To keep pumping out new releases, Ms. Wills padded inventory by taking older books and repacking them with new covers, sometimes under a different title and pen name, according to several former employees. New York Times, 2 Oct. 2021 In 1967, a New York money manager, under the pen name Adam Smith, saw his book The Money Game published. Scott Burns, Dallas News, 29 Aug. 2021 Spartacus Falanghina is the pen name for a former liquor broker turned author. The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Feb. 2021 Cha, also known by his pen name Jin Yong, was influential in shaping this genre of Chinese fiction featuring martial artists with superhuman abilities. Kat Moon, Time, 9 Sep. 2021 William Sidney Porter, writing under his famous pen name, relied on deadpan humor, a feel for the lives of ordinary people—and astonishing finales. Wsj Books Staff, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2021 The Disney Plus Hotstar top brass are all huge fans of the novels written by Diana and Michael Preston, writing together under the pen name Alex Rutherford. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 27 Aug. 2021 In prison, Porter wrote fourteen stories and began using O. Henry as a pen name. The New Yorker, 28 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pen name.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pen name

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pen name

Time Traveler

The first known use of pen name was circa 1864

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pen name.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pen name

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English Language Learners Definition of pen name

: a name used by a writer instead of the writer's real name

pen name


Kids Definition of pen name

: a false name that an author uses on his or her work

More from Merriam-Webster on pen name

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pen name

Nglish: Translation of pen name for Spanish Speakers


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