nonchalant

adjective
non·​cha·​lant | \ ˌnän-shə-ˈlänt How to pronounce nonchalant (audio) ; ˈnän-shə-ˌlänt, -lənt \

Definition of nonchalant

: having an air of easy unconcern or indifference

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Choose the Right Synonym for nonchalant

cool, composed, collected, unruffled, imperturbable, nonchalant mean free from agitation or excitement. cool may imply calmness, deliberateness, or dispassionateness. kept a cool head composed implies freedom from agitation as a result of self-discipline or a sedate disposition. the composed pianist gave a flawless concert collected implies a concentration of mind that eliminates distractions especially in moments of crisis. the nurse stayed calm and collected unruffled suggests apparent serenity and poise in the face of setbacks or in the midst of excitement. harried but unruffled imperturbable implies coolness or assurance even under severe provocation. the speaker remained imperturbable despite the heckling nonchalant stresses an easy coolness of manner or casualness that suggests indifference or unconcern. a nonchalant driver

Frequently Asked Questions About nonchalant

Is chalant the opposite of nonchalant?

There is no word chalant in English. Nonchalant comes from an Old French word nonchaloir, meaning "to disregard." That word comes from non-, meaning "not," + chaloir, meaning "to concern." If you want a word that means the opposite of nonchalant, both concerned and interested can do the job.

Is nonchalant a bad or negative thing?

Nonchalant can be either negative or positive. The word describes someone who is relaxed and calm in a way that shows that they do not care or are not worried about something. If someone is nonchalant about another person's pain or trouble, the word has a definite negative connotation. But if someone successfully undertaking a difficult task is described as nonchalant, their calmness and relaxed manner can be admirable. If they fail in that task, however, the fact that they were nonchalant will likely be a criticism and explanation for their failure.

What does it mean when someone is nonchalant?

Someone who is nonchalant is relaxed and calm, either because they do not care about something or because they are not worried about something.

Examples of nonchalant in a Sentence

In those stories, we already find the qualities the world would come to know as "Kafkaesque": the nonchalant intrusion of the bizarre and horrible into everyday life, the subjection of ordinary people to an inscrutable fate. — Adam Kirsch, New York Times Book Review, 4 Jan. 2009 … watch his iron-backed posture as he rides a horse and listen to the nonchalant way in which, not barking but speaking he says "Fire" to the line of infantry, like someone asking for a light. — John Updike, New Yorker, 30 Sept. 2002 He and Anita (and an ancient, nonchalant Lhasa apso … ) live in a gated community, surrounded by high, vine-covered walls, redolent of Wrigley, that embrace a golf club and an attractive thicket of large houses … — Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 19 Mar. 2001 It was thrilling to watch them, the regulars, so nonchalant, so composed as they slipped from Senate cloakroom to Senate hideaway, sharing jokes with powerful men old enough to be their fathers. — Ward Just, New York Times Book Review, 28 May 1989 He was surprisingly nonchalant about winning the award. She faced the crowd with the nonchalant ease of an experienced speaker. The team may have been somewhat nonchalant at the beginning of the season, but they now know that they need to work hard.
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Recent Examples on the Web Again, SpaceX seemed to take the explosion in stride, assuming a seemingly nonchalant attitude towards the crash. Erik Olsen, Popular Science, "SpaceX Starships keep exploding, but it’s all part of Elon Musk’s plan," 17 Feb. 2021 Video from inside the crowded room shows the malefactors looking nonchalant. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Suddenly, the party that broke the country wants unity," 13 Jan. 2021 Their physical presence speaks to our aesthetic biases and nonchalant insults. Washington Post, "The sound of a shifting power structure," 13 Jan. 2021 In his personal life as well as in his oeuvre, Connio favored a nonchalant sort of excess and extravagance; spaces overflowing with color but tempered by areas that show more restraint, in which abundance is expressed through light. David M. Murphy, ELLE Decor, "How One Lucky Couple Is Preserving Paradise on the Coast of Uruguay," 6 Jan. 2021 Jim is nonchalant about getting up on the roof each year to put the lights in place, but Linda not so much. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Meet the Lake Highlands couple determined that every letter to Santa gets a response — even in a pandemic," 18 Dec. 2020 There is no shortage of violence, depictions at once nonchalant and operatic — a weird, riveting combination. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy, From Cheese to Player Two," 1 Dec. 2020 As life continues to take place mostly at home for the foreseeable future, the best dresses are easy and unfussy, employing long hemlines and nonchalant silhouettes. Rachel Besser, Vogue, "Score Your New Favorite Dress For A Fraction Of The Price," 27 Nov. 2020 More than 400,000 soldiers delighted in seeing her in person, enchanted by her wit, openheartedness and nonchalant charm. Washington Post, "A modest rebel: The paradoxical personality of Eleanor Roosevelt," 6 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonchalant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonchalant

circa 1734, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nonchalant

French, from Old French, from present participle of nonchaloir to disregard, from non- + chaloir to concern, from Latin calēre to be warm — more at lee

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Time Traveler for nonchalant

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The first known use of nonchalant was circa 1734

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Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nonchalant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonchalant. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for nonchalant

nonchalant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of nonchalant

: relaxed and calm in a way that shows that you do not care or are not worried about anything

nonchalant

adjective
non·​cha·​lant | \ ˌnän-shə-ˈlänt How to pronounce nonchalant (audio) \

Kids Definition of nonchalant

: showing or having a relaxed manner free from concern or excitement He was surprisingly nonchalant about winning the award.

Other Words from nonchalant

nonchalantly \ -​ˈlänt-​lē \ adverb

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