abbreviation or noun

plural NPCs
: a character in a video game that does not represent and cannot be manipulated by a player
NPCs can be programmed to detect and react to what is happening in the game …Robin Johnson
The pigeon barista served coffee to players and NPCs at The Roost Café in previous Animal Crossing installments …Elise Nelson
Believe me, as someone who has been paralyzed by a mob of angry zombies, it leads to an authentic feeling of … relief and gratitude when your NPC teammate saves you from a gruesome fate.Scott Rigby and Richard M. Ryan

called also non-player character

compare avatar sense 1
: a character in a role-playing board game, card game, or live-action game that is controlled or performed by an organizer, facilitator, or supporting participant
… the Dungeon Master exists to keep the world moving for the players. This usually entails rolling all the dice for the NPCsTimothy Christopher
… when I first encountered [Dungeons & Dragons] I only played it once, with my mother and younger brother. … I clearly remember her inability to role-play the healing cleric NPCEsther MacCallum-Stewart
At the Hudson Park Library show, we spoke with the people who played the NPCs. … Both of them first experienced the show as players in past productions, but volunteered to play NPC roles.Charles Battersby

called also non-player character

Examples of NPC in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In March 2024, after the NPC IFBB Pro League Sampson Showdown, Ric shared his pride in Megan's achievements on social media. Jolene Latimer, Peoplemag, 3 June 2024 If China had such steps in mind, its intentions would have been apparent in the policy messaging that came out of the NPC. Daniel H. Rosen, Foreign Affairs, 27 Mar. 2024 During one of the more surreal answers, Mosser said the Neo NPC was hallucinating. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, 22 Mar. 2024 Towns and regions have little in the way of personality or defining geography, and every quest character and NPC feels AI-generated for maximum blandness. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 21 Mar. 2024 Janis Mackey Frayer Heading into this NPC, there has been a lot of speculation about China’s next foreign minister. NBC News, 5 Mar. 2024 The figure — similar to last year’s growth target — was announced by Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Tuesday at the opening of the annual gathering of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s rubber-stamp legislature, which draws nearly 3,000 delegates to Beijing for a week-long meeting. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 5 Mar. 2024 The premier’s news conference, held at the end of the NPC since the 1980s and one of the few moments of relative openness in the Communist system, has been canceled this year. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 5 Mar. 2024 Ryan Reynolds stars as the titular Guy, an NPC in a Grand Theft Auto-style video game who suddenly finds himself with a sense of autonomy and purpose. Declan Gallagher,, 21 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'NPC.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of NPC was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near NPC

Cite this Entry

“NPC.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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