non·​ex·​is·​tence | \ ˌnän-ig-ˈzi-stən(t)s How to pronounce nonexistence (audio) \

Definition of nonexistence

: absence of existence : the negation of being

Examples of nonexistence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In many cases, these objections are based on misunderstandings; evolutionary theory does not prove the nonexistence of God. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, "The False Logic behind Science Denial," 1 Aug. 2020 The fear of literal nonexistence through death is addressed by many philosophical and religious traditions. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Don’t Fear the (Career) Reaper," 4 June 2020 However, directly proving its nonexistence was too difficult. Quanta Magazine, "The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics," 9 June 2020 According to the Cambridge University philosopher Stephen Cave, the fear of death is an innate fear of nonexistence. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Don’t Fear the (Career) Reaper," 4 June 2020 And what should such existence or nonexistence actually mean for us here on earth? Christopher Beha, Harper's Magazine, "Difficulties Everywhere," 27 Apr. 2020 The nonexistence of any such relationship is among the agonies that torment him. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Joker” Is a Viewing Experience of Rare, Numbing Emptiness," 3 Oct. 2019 That, though, was a lyrical and oblique work that heard the abyss of nonexistence roaring within long silences. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "‘Linda Vista’ Review: A Womanizer Who Devastates as He Charms," 10 Oct. 2019 Even with just a fraction of the investment, the Netherlands has launched its women’s team from nonexistence to almost-World-Cup-champions in little more than a decade. Maggie Mertens, The Atlantic, "The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Deserves More Than a Trophy," 7 July 2019

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

1646, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nonexistence

Time Traveler for nonexistence

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonexistence was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nonexistence

Last Updated

1 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nonexistence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on nonexistence

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nonexistence

Comments on nonexistence

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!