non sequitur

noun

non se·​qui·​tur ˌnän-ˈse-kwə-tər How to pronounce non sequitur (audio)
 also  -ˌtu̇r
1
: an inference (see inference sense 1) that does not follow from the premises (see premise entry 1 sense 1)
specifically : a fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative (see affirmative entry 1 sense 3) proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent (see consequent entry 1 sense 1)
2
: a statement (such as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said
We were talking about the new restaurant when she threw in some non sequitur about her dog.

Did you know?

In Latin, non sequitur means "it does not follow." The phrase was borrowed into English in the 1500s by people who made a formal study of logic. For them, it meant a conclusion that does not follow from the statements that lead to it. But we now use non sequitur for any kind of statement that seems to come out of the blue.

Examples of non sequitur in a Sentence

We were talking about the new restaurant when she threw in some non sequitur about her dog.
Recent Examples on the Web Live action and cartoons are intercut with joyously non sequitur song breaks, and each episode features a guest star like Snoop Dogg or Tony Hale. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 11 June 2024 Aspects of that plan take on the air of mantras or non sequiturs, lines that G and B are rehearsing in order to convince others. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 12 Apr. 2024 In an appendix, Durang gives instructions on how to root his farcical non sequiturs in genuine emotion. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 The album also exults in musical zingers, non sequiturs and startling off-grid eruptions. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for non sequitur 

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin, it does not follow

First Known Use

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of non sequitur was in 1540

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near non sequitur

Cite this Entry

“Non sequitur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/non%20sequitur. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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