non·​con·​for·​mi·​ty | \ˌnän-kən-ˈfȯr-mə-tē \

Definition of nonconformity 

1a : failure or refusal to conform to an established church

b often capitalized : the movement or principles of English Protestant dissent

c often capitalized : the body of English Nonconformists

2 : refusal to conform to an established or conventional creed, rule, or practice

3 : absence of agreement or correspondence

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nonconformity


dissent, dissidence, heresy, heterodoxy


conformity, orthodoxy

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Examples of nonconformity in a Sentence

As a teenager, he was embarrassed by his parents' nonconformity. an artistic movement that doesn't tolerate nonconformity

Recent Examples on the Web

Every presidency deserves criticism, but so much of Mr. Trump’s is just rote Anderson Cooper tut-tutting over his nonconformity. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "America Has Yet to Make Sense of Trump," 19 Oct. 2018 In 1987, the world’s biggest sportswear company even used a song by the Beatles to praise nonconformity. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Nike has made billions selling rebellion to young people," 6 Sep. 2018 Accordingly, those who have Aquarius Venus find pleasure in nonconformity. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018 Under Nazi rule, the remedies for nonconformity were separation, torture and murder. Kate Tuttle,, "Hans Asperger's complex Nazi history," 15 June 2018 That whole book is about nonconformity and about rejecting being the same. Fox News, "Trump slams 'disgraceful' leak of Mueller questions," 2 May 2018 Quinn's intimate riffs on that struggle find their integrity through nonconformity, through blur and torque, through sensual tumult and honest contradiction. Leah Ollman,, "Like song sampling as painting: Nathaniel Mary Quinn's puzzle-like portraits of personhood," 6 June 2018 For some, facial feminization is seen as bolstering restrictive stereotypes while stigmatizing gender nonconformity. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "The Story of a Trans Woman’s Face," 12 Mar. 2018 But the medical community used other terms in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, to pathologize gender nonconformity, including transsexualism and gender identity disorder. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, "What is medically necessary treatment for gender-affirming health care?," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonconformity.' 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 nonconformity

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for nonconformity

The first known use of nonconformity was in 1606

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More Definitions for nonconformity



English Language Learners Definition of nonconformity

: failure or refusal to behave the way most people behave : failure or refusal to conform


non·​con·​for·​mi·​ty | \ˌnän-kən-ˈfȯr-mə-tē \
plural nonconformities

Legal Definition of nonconformity 

1 : failure to conform to or comply with something (as contract requirements) a lessee may revoke acceptance of a lot…whose nonconformity substantially impairs its valueUniform Commercial Code

2 : a particular aspect in which something is nonconforming cannot revoke an acceptance he made with knowledge of a nonconformity— J. J. White and R. S. Summers

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More from Merriam-Webster on nonconformity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nonconformity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nonconformity

Spanish Central: Translation of nonconformity

Nglish: Translation of nonconformity for Spanish Speakers

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living or existing for a long time

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