nonperson

noun

non·​per·​son ˌnän-ˈpər-sᵊn How to pronounce nonperson (audio)
: a person who is regarded as nonexistent: such as
a
b
: one having no social or legal status

Examples of nonperson in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The system was nothing less than an Irish Gulag, its inmates nonpersons, placed beyond the pale of citizenship. Giles Harvey, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2023 Credit Reynolds for making this thing watchable, but watching a nonperson does get tedious after a couple of hours. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 13 Aug. 2021 Not only was Paul Robeson — another great athlete of that first wave era — reduced to an Orwellian nonperson for all practical purposes. Washington Post, 27 July 2021 Some 20 years before, Korolev had been a different kind of nonperson. Andrew Stuttaford, WSJ, 18 Apr. 2021 Mirroring the Scientology custom whereby anyone who bad-mouths the church is ostracized as a nonperson, the practice smacks of a cult. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, 10 Feb. 2019 Mirroring the Scientology custom whereby anyone who badmouths the church is ostracized as a nonperson, the practice smacks of a cult. WSJ, 23 Jan. 2019 Trotsky, for example, who had become a nonperson, is vivid in the book. Olga Ingurazova, Smithsonian, 29 Sep. 2017 No memoir captures the human damage better than scriptwriter Walter Bernstein’s humane and entertaining account of his 11 years as a nonperson in Hollywood and New York. WSJ, 24 Feb. 2017

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

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonperson was circa 1909

Dictionary Entries Near nonperson

Cite this Entry

“Nonperson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonperson. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on nonperson

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!