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. (Evelun)
Origin: F, fr. It. Nicchia, prop, a shell-like recess in a wall, fr. Nicchio a shellfish, mussel, fr. L. Mytilus.