non·​cha·​lant | \ˌnän-shə-ˈlänt; ˌnän-shə-ˌlänt, -lənt\

Definition of nonchalant 

: having an air of easy unconcern or indifference

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nonchalant

nonchalantly adverb

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

Stay Cool With the History of Nonchalant

Since "nonchalant" comes ultimately from Latin words meaning "not" and "be warm," it's no surprise that the word is all about keeping one's cool. The French word nonchalant, which we borrowed around 1734, has essentially the same meaning as our English word and was derived in Old French from a verb, "nonchaloir," which meant "to disregard." "Nonchaloir" in turn combines the negative "non-" with "chaloir," which means "to concern" and comes from the Latin calēre ("to be warm"). "Unconcerned" is one synonym of "nonchalant," along with "casual," "complacent," and "insouciant."

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Rather than freaking out, Beyoncé remained nonchalant, blowing kisses to the fans below and dancing along to their chanting her name, until a crew member could get an emergency ladder to her location. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Beyoncé Stopped Herself from Falling During OTRII Tour," 24 Aug. 2018 Despite Murphy’s nonchalant caption, the photo sent fans into a tailspin, trying to figure out what could be going on. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "13 “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” Fan Theories That Might Predict What Is Ahead," 1 Nov. 2018 The majority of his charm actually stems from his nonchalant sense of humor. Ilana Kaplan, Marie Claire, "Who Wins the Rom-Com Crush Showdown: Peter Kavinsky or Jamey?," 7 Sep. 2018 Republicans and business groups in Arizona have been nonchalant about the referendum threats. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Turning Arizona Into New Jersey," 24 Aug. 2018 Last night, the model posted a photo of her nonchalant nip slip at the table, turning a social media faux pas into a sultry dinner snap. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Ratajkowski Instagrammed Her Nip Slip at Dinner Because Why Not," 14 Aug. 2018 Throughout the whole video this little guy seems nonchalant about his thieving ways. Rebecca Shinners, Country Living, "We Can't Stop Laughing at This Cat Stealing a Stuffed Animal from His Neighbors," 27 Oct. 2015 Though Lang Lang gave no interviews and his Facebook page seemed downright nonchalant, the young female fan base that habitually rushes the stage at his concerts was in evidence. David Patrick Stearns,, "Lang Lang's recovery: Will he ever play in Philly again?," 12 July 2018 The bright canary yellow hue and green collar added a nonchalant high-low vibe to Lima’s elevated post-runway garb. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Adriana Lima Turns the Brazil Soccer Jersey Into a Couture Fashion Week Statement," 2 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nonchalant

Share nonchalant

Listen to Our Podcast about nonchalant

Statistics for nonchalant

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nonchalant

The first known use of nonchalant was circa 1734

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nonchalant



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


non·​cha·​lant | \ˌnän-shə-ˈlänt \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nonchalant

What made you want to look up nonchalant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!