- a name added to or substituted for the proper name of a person, place, etc., as in affection, ridicule, or familiarity: He has always loathed his nickname of “Whizzer.”
- a familiar form of a proper name, as Jim for James and Peg for Margaret.
verb (used with object), nick·named, nick·nam·ing.
- to give a nickname to (a person, town, etc.); call by a nickname.
- Archaic. to call by an incorrect or improper name; misname.
- a familiar, pet, or derisory name given to a person, animal, or placehis nickname was Lefty because he was left-handed
- a shortened or familiar form of a person’s nameJoe is a nickname for Joseph
- (tr) to call by a nickname; give a nickname to
mid-15c., misdivision of ekename (c.1300), an eke name, literally “an additional name,” from Old English eaca “an increase,” related to eacian “to increase” (see eke; also see N). As a verb from 1530s. Related: Nicknamed; nicknaming.