niche


niche
/nich/, n., adj., v., niched, niching.
n.
1. an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
2. a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one's niche in the business world.
3. a distinct segment of a market.
4. Ecol. the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
adj.
5. pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal: niche advertising.
v.t.
6. to place (something) in a niche.
[1605-15; < F, MF, back formation from nicher to make a nest < VL *nidiculare, deriv. of L nidus NEST]
Syn. 2. calling, vocation, slot, berth.

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Smallest unit of a habitat that is occupied by an organism.

A habitat niche is the physical space occupied by the organism; an ecological niche is the role the organism plays in the community of organisms found in the habitat. The activities of an organism and its relationships to other organisms are determined by its particular structure, physiology, and behaviour.

Niche with statue of Apollo, by Jacopo Sansovino, in the Loggetta, Venice, 1540

Alinari
Art Resource/EB Inc.

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 in architecture, decorative recess set into a wall for the purpose of displaying a statue, vase, font, or other object. Niches were used extensively in both interior and exterior walls by the architects of ancient Rome. A fine extant example of such use is found at the Roman Temple of Diana at Nîmes, France.

      Gothic examples of the decorative recess are ubiquitous, including niches in medieval structures, where they often have canopies or gables over them, such as the English cathedrals at Wells and Peterborough. Later architects, especially those of the Italian Renaissance and the classic revival of 17th- and 18th-century Europe, all made use of the niche. Semicircular niches are often featured, many having shell-like fluting at the apex.

      in ecology, all of the interactions of a species with the other members of its community, including competition, predation, parasitism, and mutualism. A variety of abiotic factors, such as soil type and climate, also define a species' niche. Each of the various species that constitute a community occupies its own ecological niche. Informally, a niche is considered the “job” or “role” that a species performs within nature.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • niche — 1. (ni ch ) s. f. 1°   Enfoncement pratiqué dans l épaisseur de quelque corps solide, pour y placer quelque chose, une statue, un vase, etc. Mettre une statue dans une niche. Le choeur de cette église est orné de saints placés dans des niches.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Niche — (UK /ˈniːʃ/ or US …   Wikipedia

  • Niche — Gewässerkennzahl FR: A4400300 Lage Lothringen, Frankreich Flusssystem …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • niche — The usual pronunciation is neesh, in the French manner, although the anglicized form nich is also heard. In business jargon, niche (always pronounced neesh, of course) means ‘a special section of the market’ to which the marketing effort for… …   Modern English usage

  • Niche — • A recess for the reception of a statue, so designed as to give it emphasis, frame it effectively, and afford some measure of protection. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Niche     Niche …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • niché — niché, ée (ni ché, chée) part. passé de nicher. Logé dans un nid. Un faucon niché au haut d un arbre.    Par extension. •   Lors je lui dis : te voilà mal niché, Petit larron ; cherche une autre retraite : Celle du coeur sera bien plus secrète, J …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • niche — [ nıtʃ ] noun count 1. ) a job or activity that you are good at and that is very suitable for you: She s never really found her niche in life. 2. ) BUSINESS an opportunity to sell a particular product or service that no one else is selling: The… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • niche — (n.) 1610s, shallow recess in a wall, from Fr. niche recess (for a dog), kennel (14c.), perhaps from It. nicchia niche, nook, from nicchio seashell, said by Klein and Barnhart to be probably from L. mitulus mussel, but the change of m to n is not …   Etymology dictionary

  • Niche — (n[i^]ch), n. [F., fr. It. nicchia, prop., a shell like recess in a wall, fr. nicchio a shellfish, mussel, fr. L. mytilus.] A cavity, hollow, or recess, generally within the thickness of a wall, for a statue, bust, or other erect ornament. Hence …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • niche — ► NOUN 1) a shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display an ornament. 2) (one s niche) a comfortable or suitable position in life. 3) a specialized but profitable corner of the market. 4) Ecology a role taken by a type of organism within… …   English terms dictionary

  • niche — [nich; ] Brit also [ nēsh] n. [Fr < OFr nichier, to nest < VL * nidicare < L nidus, NEST] 1. a recess or hollow in a wall, as for a statue, bust, or vase 2. a place or position particularly suitable to the person or thing in it 3. any… …   English World dictionary


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