non·​le·​thal ˌnän-ˈlē-thəl How to pronounce nonlethal (audio)
: not lethal : not capable of causing death
a nonlethal gas
nonlethal weapons
a nonlethal dose of venom

Examples of nonlethal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Senior officials at the State Department and Pentagon are supporting the provision of nonlethal security assistance to Burkina Faso’s military, arguing that the threat posed by a spiraling Islamist insurgency requires action, especially since Russia’s Wagner Group would be eager to step in. John Hudson, Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2023 The Jewish man suffered lethal injuries to the back of his head and nonlethal injuries to left side of his face, Young said. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 The Ministry of Defense in April announced the creation of a new procurement agency tasked with reforming the systems in place relating to nonlethal purchases. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Oct. 2023 Russia, by contrast, has only two countries—Iran and North Korea—openly assisting it with its war, although China has been both an important economic backstop to the Kremlin’s war effort and a provider of nonlethal military aid. Liana Fix, Foreign Affairs, 12 Sep. 2023 Reimbursements are also offered for the purchase of nonlethal protection measures such as fencing and guard dogs. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 StarCraft maps downloaded in advance, snacks, his grandmother’s homemade wine, and other nonlethal supplies for these cyberspace soldiers. Samanth Subramanian, WIRED, 5 Oct. 2023 His assertiveness has paid dividends, according to Poling, who said that Chinese Coast Guard forces tend to back down when Philippine officials ignore their nonlethal pressure. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 25 Sep. 2023 Amid an increase in crime and drug overdoses, the Los Angeles Police Department has proposed arming officers who patrol Metro buses and trains with a nonlethal whip-like device that wraps around a person’s body. Kevinisha Walker, Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2023 See More

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

1625, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonlethal was in 1625

Dictionary Entries Near nonlethal

Cite this Entry

“Nonlethal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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