non·​en·​ti·​ty ˌnän-ˈen-tə-tē How to pronounce nonentity (audio)
: something that does not exist or exists only in the imagination
: a person or thing of little consequence or significance

Examples of nonentity in a Sentence

the arctic circle is a nonentity—you won't see it on the way to the north pole was so quiet he was almost a nonentity at the meeting
Recent Examples on the Web Putin appointed a political nonentity in his place, shifted himself to the position of prime minister, and came right back for a third presidential term in 2012 and then a fourth. Stephen Kotkin, Foreign Affairs, 18 Apr. 2024 The central father-son dynamic feels forced rather than rooted in history, and Freddy is a nonentity, undefined as a character except in relation to his meddling dad. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 11 Oct. 2023 But at its peak, Insys was also a fascinating study in how a nonentity could become a major player by using institutionalized practices. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 And Putin, shockingly, after years and years of indefatigably suppressing alternatives, of promoting nonentities to his inner circle to ensure no one could threaten him, has allowed one to take shape. Foreign Affairs, 24 June 2023 Europe has been a geopolitical nonentity since the 1990s. Max Bergmann, Foreign Affairs, 20 Aug. 2020 The mocha frappe had a stinging, strong syrup flavor; the caramel tasted like almost nothing; the chicory was somehow even more of a nonentity. Hartford Courant, 28 Feb. 2023 In both films, the government is a nonentity. Sarah Jones, Vulture, 25 Mar. 2021 After listening to our conflicting points of view, journalists threw up their hands and declared us a mystery, a conundrum, and a nonentity. Héctor Tobar, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nonentity.' 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

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonentity was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near nonentity

Cite this Entry

“Nonentity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


non·​en·​ti·​ty nä-ˈnen(t)-ət-ē How to pronounce nonentity (audio)
plural nonentities
: something that does not exist or exists only in the imagination
: a person of no importance

More from Merriam-Webster on nonentity

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