non·​neg·​a·​tive ˌnän-ˈne-gə-tiv How to pronounce nonnegative (audio)
: not negative: such as
: being either positive or zero
: taking on nonnegative values
a nonnegative function

Examples of nonnegative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 16th century, algebraic equations were still expressed rhetorically — in words, not symbols — and all coefficients had to be nonnegative, since mathematicians did not recognize negative numbers as legitimate. Quanta Magazine, 30 June 2022 So cubics can never be nonnegative everywhere or a sum of squares. Quanta Magazine, 1 Nov. 2021 Knowing whether a polynomial is always nonnegative might seem like a mathematical triviality. Quanta Magazine, 23 May 2018

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

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonnegative was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near nonnegative

Cite this Entry

“Nonnegative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


non·​neg·​a·​tive (ˈ)nän-ˈneg-ət-iv How to pronounce nonnegative (audio)
: not negative
especially : being either positive or zero
a nonnegative number
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