non·​re·​sponse | \ ˌnän-ri-ˈspän(t)s How to pronounce nonresponse (audio) \
plural nonresponses

Definition of nonresponse

1 : a refusal or failure to respond : lack of response a nonresponse to a complaint nonresponse to medical treatment
2 : an empty or unsatisfactory response Questions to the staff brought a familiar nonresponse: Nobody could provide any information because of HIPAA.— Paula Span

Examples of nonresponse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And the nonresponse rate seems to be just as high when response cards are sent, even ones to which deadlines and threats have been added. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Saving the Earth by insulting your friends," 4 Nov. 2019 All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error, including sampling, question wording and order, and nonresponse. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "AP VoteCast: Trump a dominant force on voters’ minds," 7 Nov. 2018 In the surrounding Pennsylvania counties, only Delaware County had a higher nonresponse rate, 44.9 percent that year, the report found. Julie Shaw,, "Report: More than one-third ignore Philly jury duty summonses," 9 May 2018 Academics call this the nonresponse bias and have observed different reasons for it. Bernhard Clemm, Washington Post, "Facebook wants its users to drive out fake news. Here's the problem with that.," 1 Feb. 2018 Reconsidering those polls suggests that the corrections performed for nonresponse in state polls were not as thorough and effective as were done for national surveys. Andrew Gelman, Slate Magazine, "We Need to Move Beyond Election-Focused Polling," 5 Sep. 2017 There’s certainly cause for concern over the geographic impacts of these closings, not to mention the political nonresponse to them at a time when the president is still crowing over the barely significant coal industry. Daniel Gross, Slate Magazine, "The 1.5 Horsemen of the Retail Apocalypse," 21 Apr. 2017 The nonresponse rate alone probably dooms the report as sound quantitative analysis. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, "What We Still Don’t Know About the Islamic State’s Foreign Fighters," 19 Aug. 2017

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

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nonresponse

Time Traveler for nonresponse

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonresponse was in 1832

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nonresponse

Cite this Entry

“Nonresponse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Comments on nonresponse

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
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!