See also: Nephew



From Middle English nevew, neveu (nephew, grandson), from Old French neveu, from Latin nepos, nepōtem, from Proto-Italic *nepōts (nephew, grandson), whence also French neveu, Italian nipote. Displaced or absorbed the inherited English neve (nephew, grandson, male cousin), from Middle English neve, from Old English nefa, from Proto-West Germanic *nefō, from Proto-Germanic *nefô (nephew, grandson), whence Dutch neef, German Neffe. All ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *népōts (grandchild, sister's son). Cognate with Serbo-Croatian nećak, Irish nia, Persian نوه(nave). Spelt with -ph- by readaptation to Latin nepos since the 15th century, which later triggered the spelling pronunciation with /f/.



nephew (plural nephews)

  1. A son of one's sibling, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law; either a son of one's brother (fraternal nephew) or a son of one's sister (sororal nephew).
    Synonym: (obsolete) neve
    Coordinate terms: niece, nift
    Hypernyms: nephling, nibling
    Hyponyms: fraternal nephew, sororal nephew
  2. (archaic) A son of one's child.
    Synonym: grandson
    • 1567, Arthur Golding (translator), The XV Bookes of P. Ouidius Naso, entytuled Metamorphosis, Book 1,[1]
      Hir father many a time and oft would say my daughter deere,
      Of Nephewes thou my debtour art, their Graundsires heart to chéere.

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  1. Alternative form of nevew