From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:
Niche \Niche\ (n[i^]ch), noun [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, any similar position, literal or figurative.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:
46 Moby Thesaurus words for "niche": alcove, asylum, bay, bolt-hole, cache, carrel, concealment, corner, cove, cover, covert, coverture, cranny, cubby, cubbyhole, cubicle, dark corner, den, dugout, foxhole, funk hole, hideaway, hideout, hidey hole, hiding, hiding place, hole, hollow, inglenook, lair, nook, oriel, pitchhole, place, position, recess, recession, refuge, retreat, roomlet, sanctuary, secret place, slot, snuggery, stash, undercovert
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