• WordNet 3.6
    • n niche an enclosure that is set back or indented
    • n niche a small concavity
    • n niche (ecology) the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species)
    • n niche a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it "he found his niche in the academic world"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Niche nĭch A cavity, hollow, or recess, generally within the thickness of a wall, for a statue, bust, or other erect ornament. Hence, any similar position, literal or figurative. "Images defended from the injuries of the weather by niches of stone wherein they are placed."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n niche A nook or recess; specifically, a recess in a wall for the reception of a statue, a vase, or other ornament. In ancient Roman architecture niches were generally semicircular in plan, and terminated in a semi-dome at the top. They were sometimes, however, square-headed, and in classical architecture sometimes also square in plan. They were ornamented with pillars, architraves, and consoles, and in other ways. In the architecture of the middle ages niches were extensively used in decoration and for the reception of statues. In the Romanesque style they were so shallow as to be little more than panels, and the figures were frequently carved on the back in high relief. In the Pointed style they became more deeply recessed, and were highly enriched with elaborate canopies, and often much accessory ornament. In plan they are most frequently a semi-octagon or a semi-hexagon, and their heads are formed of groined vanlting, with bosses and pendants according to the prevalent architecture of the time. They are often projected on corbels, and adorned with pillars, but-tresses, and various moldings. Compare cut under gallery.
    • n niche Hence Figuratively, a position or condition in which a person or thing is placed; one's assigned or appropriate place.
    • niche To furnish with a niche or with niches.
    • niche To place in a niche, literally or figuratively.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Niche nich a recess in a wall for a statue, vase, &c.: a person's proper place or condition in life or public estimation, one's appointed or appropriate place
    • v.t Niche to place in a niche
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. It. nicchia, prop., a shell-like recess in a wall, fr. nicchio, a shellfish, mussel, fr. L. mytilus,


In literature:

What is observable in the niches of this style?
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed." by Matthew Holbeche Bloxam
They stand in niches.
"Young Americans Abroad" by Various
A small, niche-like aperture is made in the middle of this ledge, and is called the katchin kihu (katchina house).
"Eighth Annual Report" by Various
Was this niche more than just a niche?
"Storm Over Warlock" by Andre Norton
In those days even a woman who did not marry tried to find a niche that she could fill in somebody's home.
"The Good Housekeeping Marriage Book" by Various
Yet, although it ran to size, there was no niche in it for Luther.
"The Magnificent Montez" by Horace Wyndham
Some of the niches are gilt and painted; and in a great square panel in the centre, in black relief on a gilt ground, Louis XII.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition" by Robert Louis Stevenson
The canopies of the niches are ornamented somewhat similarly to those of Rosslyn.
"Scottish Cathedrals and Abbeys" by Dugald Butler and Herbert Story
In a niche on the left of the high altar of S. Peter's the figure of the noble old pontiff is seated on a bronze throne.
"Pagan and Christian Rome" by Rodolfo Lanciani
The nave and towers are battlemented, and at intervals in the outer walls are niches, now bereft of the figures they held.
"Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts" by Rosalind Northcote

In poetry:

I bethink me: we must fall
On the thinnest of the wall!
There it must be, in that niche!—
No, the deepest—that in which
Stands the Crucifix.
"Death and Birth" by George MacDonald
Once, as we read, in a curtained niche,
A poet who sang of her sea-throned isle,
There was something of Albion's mighty Bess
In the flash of her haughty smile.
"An Exotic" by Henry Timrod
Peopled by flocks of pigeons turbulent
a ruinous palace in the sunset flares.
Dim statues seem to stir, in its niches pent,
while peacocks trail adown the leaning stairs
their plumes too opulent.
"Elysian Landscape" by Clark Ashton Smith
My babe! my tiny babe! my only babe!
Behold the bud is gone! the thorns remain!
My lamp hath fallen from its niche — ah, me!
Earth drinks the fragrant flame, and I am left
Forever and forever in the dark!
"A Mother's Wail" by Henry Timrod
Aladdin poor the wizard found,
Who moved from cavern’s mouth a stone;
Then bade him go beneath the ground,
And pace through unknown realms alone,
Till from a niche he bore away
A lamp—extinguishing its ray.
"Aladdin" by Anonymous Americas
Yet 'twas a morn of oh, such air and light!
The early sun ran laughing over the snow,
The laden trees held out their arms all white
And whiteness shook on the white below.
Lovely the shadows were,
Deep purple niches, 'neath a dome of light.
"Change" by John Freeman

In news:

Only problem was, he couldn't find entrepreneurs in that niche.
Lake Forest-based entrepreneurs find their niche.
Five other vendors fill the visionaries and niche providers quadrants .
An Atlanta blogger discovers a niche as an online retailer.
Freshman botany students teamed up with members of NICHES Land Trust to make it happen.
Each occupies a niche where it makes its living and raises its young.
Alder Ridge finds niche with Rhone varietals.
The world's neatest niche design brands, from El Salvador to Israel, get online-friendly.
Drew Miller found his niche in Detroit as reliable role player .
Sticking with a niche pays dividends.
A New York woman is hoping her new business becomes the next niche industry -- snuggling .
SOG knives of Lynnwood carves a growing niche.
Young entrepreneur uses creativity, niche to survive.
Achieve Success Within Your Public Relations Niche.
Kathy Gumph, volunteer manager, and Michael Simonik, executive director of the Humane Society Naples, ope at niche in preparation for interment of a pet's ashes.

In science:

The first part of his paper shows that a population can simultaneously maintain two genotypes adapted to two different niches if certain conditions are satisfied.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
This mimics the effect of invasion of an existing species in the now empty niches.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
For each extinct species i, a surviving species j is chosen at random to become the parent of a new species that fills the empty niche, and vi = vj .
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
The new species becomes located at a randomly chosen niche in the same level or in one of the two neighbouring levels of the parent species.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
The first four models introduced in this section all have a fixed number of species or niches.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics