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

Example Sentences

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 Reasons for this ignorance include Spain’s precipitous decline into nonentity in the early 19th century—just as the U.S. was beginning to flower as a global power—and its three decades of isolation under Gen. Francisco Franco after World War II. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2022 Willy’s humiliating status as a nonentity — as well as his ultimate fate — are both thereby sealed. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2022 Rom-com beats notwithstanding, female friendship is at the heart of the film, with only two significant male characters onscreen and Carla’s fiancé a nonentity. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Aug. 2022 A year into his tenure, Ebrahim Raisi, a political nonentity, limits himself to speeches on good governance. Reuel Marc Gerecht And Ray Takeyh, WSJ, 12 May 2022 And now, also in Hollywood fashion, after decades as a nonentity, the L.A. River is having a career revival, starring as itself in an urgent real-time, real-life comeback docudrama. Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 For a media that is primed only to cover politics as a conflict between a red team and a blue team, this bill is basically a nonentity. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 9 Dec. 2021 His gargantuan contract may have seemed like job security, but the Raiders are a relative nonentity on the NFL’s power rankings. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 12 Oct. 2021 The Republican Party has become a nonentity in statewide races — the last time a Republican was elected statewide was in 2006. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2021 See More

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

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 4 Feb. 2023.

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

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