Definition of pen name in US English:

pen name


  • An assumed name used by a writer instead of their real name.

    ‘his early work was written under the pen name of Owen Meredith’
    • ‘Author Michael Smith, pen-name of an Oxford-educated publisher living in London, fittingly wears his knowledge of Irish history lightly.’
    • ‘I didn't realize that you changed your pen-name!’
    • ‘Second, most actors and playwrights remained anonymous or adopted pen-names.’
    • ‘This was not uncommon, as various contributors to The Union protected their identity by using Latin pen-names such as Tacitus and Coriolanus.’
    • ‘He supplied six more tales to the Monthly Magazine during 1834, and for the publication of the second instalment of the fifth story he signed himself by his new pen-name: ‘Boz’.’
    • ‘I changed my pen-name because I was bored with ‘Star’.’
    • ‘He wrote the title of his book and his pen-name on a slip of paper and gave it to me.’
    • ‘Also remember that fear of retribution usually leads those who test the boundaries of debate to adopt pen-names as the writer of this ground breaking letter surely does.’
    • ‘I know it's a pen-name, but I'm afraid these circumstances together will do more harm than good.’
    • ‘When I put the finishing touches to my female aspect, I already had a name for her - the pen-name that I had already been using; it just seemed natural to adopt it.’
    • ‘Under the pen-name Lemony Snicket, Handler is the author of the gothic and moody ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ books.’
    • ‘I'm not certain if this is a pen-name or an actual one.’
    • ‘That's why they adopted the gender - ambiguous pen-names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.’
    • ‘Its subject is Esperanto, the oldest of the little group of artificial international languages, invented in 1887 by a Polish physician, Ludwig Zamenhof who gave it his hopeful pen-name.’
    pseudonym, assumed name, incognito, alias, stage name, professional name, false name, sobriquet, nickname
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pen name

/ˈpen ˌnām/