- an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
- a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.
- a distinct segment of a market.
- Ecology. the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
- pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal: niche advertising.
verb (used with object), niched, nich·ing.
- to place (something) in a niche.
- a recess in a wall, esp one that contains a statue
- any similar recess, such as one in a rock face
- a position particularly suitable for the person occupying ithe found his niche in politics
- (modifier) relating to or aimed at a small specialized group or market
- ecology the role of a plant or animal within its community and habitat, which determines its activities, relationships with other organisms, etc
- (tr) to place (a statue) in a niche; ensconce (oneself)
1610s, “shallow recess in a wall,” from French niche “recess (for a dog), kennel” (14c.), perhaps from Italian nicchia “niche, nook,” from nicchio “seashell,” said by Klein and Barnhart to be probably from Latin mitulus “mussel,” but the change of -m- to -n- is not explained. Watkins suggests that the word is from an Old French noun derived from nichier “to nestle, nest, build a nest,” via Gallo-Romance *nidicare from Latin nidus “nest;” but that has difficulties, too. Figurative sense is first recorded 1725. Biological use dates from 1927.
- An eroded or ulcerated area detected by contrast radiography.
- The function or position of an organism or population within an ecological community.
- The particular area within a habitat occupied by an organism.
- The function or position of a species within an ecological community. A species’s niche includes the physical environment to which it has become adapted as well as its role as producer and consumer of food resources. See also competitive exclusion principle.