nonsense

noun
non·​sense | \ ˌnän-ˌsen(t)s How to pronounce nonsense (audio) , ˈnän(t)-sən(t)s\

Definition of nonsense

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : words or language having no meaning or conveying no intelligible ideas "And the mome raths outgrabe" is pure nonsense.
b(1) : language, conduct, or an idea that is absurd or contrary to good sense To regard the struggle for existence as tragic, however, is logical nonsense.— O. B. Hardison Jr.
(2) : an instance of absurd action Today's teenagers are … sharp observers of the nonsenses of adult life and society …— Bernard Trafford
2a : things of no importance or value : trifles the raincoats are classic, without any nonsenseNew Yorker
b : affected or impudent conduct took no nonsense from subordinates The teacher tolerated no nonsense in her classroom.
3 : genetic information consisting of one or more codons that do not code for any amino acid and usually cause termination of the molecular chain in protein synthesis (see synthesis sense 1)

nonsense

adjective

Definition of nonsense (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : consisting of an arbitrary grouping of speech sounds or symbols \ˈshrȯg-ˌthī-əmpth\ is a nonsense word a nonsense syllable
2 : consisting of one or more codons that are genetic nonsense — compare antisense, missense

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Other Words from nonsense

Noun

nonsensical \ ˌnän-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​kəl How to pronounce nonsensical (audio) \ adjective
nonsensically \ ˌnän-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce nonsensically (audio) \ adverb
nonsensicalness \ ˌnän-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce nonsensicalness (audio) \ noun

Examples of nonsense in a Sentence

Noun

I don't know why you believe that nonsense about certain numbers being unlucky. She thinks that astrology is nonsense. Don't listen to him. He's talking nonsense. He was not in the mood to put up with any nonsense from his little brother. If they start pushing each other or some such nonsense, send them to their rooms. She doesn't take any nonsense from anyone. Many of the words in the poem are nonsense. I understood so few of the words they were using that the conversation sounded like nonsense to me.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After the group had a laugh, Sonkina-Dorman urged them to resist what would be a typical reaction in this case: shaming Galina for watching trashy TV shows and telling her to stop repeating nonsense. Maria Danilova, Harper's magazine, "Alternative Medicine," 28 Aug. 2019 That makes nonsense of a policy that relies on labeling specific guns as one thing or another. Los Angeles Times, "EBay bans assault rifle parts. Here’s how sellers get around it," 7 Aug. 2019 Trying to parse the nonsense of Trump’s speech sentence by sentence is silly, so concentrate instead on its underlying meaning: the oil companies clearly won a crucial battle with Trump’s election, postponing their moment of reckoning. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Why Donald Trump Suddenly Decided to Talk About the Environment," 9 July 2019 There’s a no-nonsense protagonist character trying to get to the bottom of things and immediately taking a leadership position. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Netflix's The I-Land tries (and fails) to be the next Lost — just like these 11 other shows," 14 Sep. 2019 There are other receivers (including a Super Bowl MVP) on the roster, a no-nonsense head coach and, in Tom Brady, a quarterback who is the unquestioned leader of the team and whose favorite receiver is undoubtedly Julian Edelman. Cindy Boren, The Denver Post, "Randy Moss’ advice for Antonio Brown: “Put up or shut up” in New England," 8 Sep. 2019 This nonsense has never happened to another President. John Wagner, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump suggests media should apologize to him for his erroneous Alabama claim," 6 Sep. 2019 Ezekiel Elliott has a new extension worth $90 million over six years and likely will be in uniform for the Dallas Cowboys when their season begins Sunday, as pretty much everybody has predicted from the moment this nonsense started. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott got paid while owner Jerry Jones got played," 4 Sep. 2019 Now that Bolsonaro has won, this indigenous land nonsense is over. Carol Pires, The New Yorker, "The Trump Ally Who Is Allowing the Amazon to Burn," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The group quickly changed its name to a string of nonsense characters, 'asdgrfhtyjujtrgefgrefgrtyuafw,' to mask its origins. Dan Patterson, CBS News, "8chan users are moving to Discord, where your kids are playing video games," 26 Aug. 2019 Vox Jia Tolentino makes sense out of this nonsense moment Elle What happens when Lyme Disease becomes an identity? Fortune, "The Disturbing World of Deepfakes: The Broadsheet," 25 July 2019 Stapleton’s no-nonsense half hour set the tone for the rest of the night, as a house band settled in to back solo slots from Taylor, Henley and Walsh without breaks. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "Review: Joe Walsh’s VetsAid was a familial star-powered party at Tacoma Dome, raising $1.2 million," 12 Nov. 2018 Nac Un Ēd Ganību dambis 30 For traditional, no-nonsense Latvian fare, video and installation artist Katrīna Neiburga suggests Nac Un Ēd. Laura Bannister, Vogue, "Where to Go in Riga, Latvia, the New Arts Hub of the Baltic," 17 June 2018 Union stars as Shaun, a no-nonsense family woman cleaning up the mess her father left behind after his sudden death. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Gabrielle Union kicks serious butt in violent ‘Breaking In’," 11 May 2018 Other symptoms include incoherent or nonsense speech, and behavior that is inappropriate for the situation. Marc Siegel, National Review, "President Trump and the Dangers of Armchair Psychiatry," 11 Jan. 2018 The girls around me were singing along, just nonsense sounds, warming up their voices. Edan Lepucki, Slate Magazine, "“Chorus”," 1 Feb. 2017 Coach Butch Jones, entering his fifth year leading the program, set the tone with his Wednesday no-nonsense press conference. Mike Griffith, ajc, "Tennessee football podcast: Team 121 carries quiet confidence into pregame buildup," 1 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonsense.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonsense

Noun

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

circa 1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nonsense

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nonsense

The first known use of nonsense was in 1612

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More Definitions for nonsense

nonsense

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nonsense

: words or ideas that are foolish or untrue
: behavior that is silly, annoying, or unkind
: language that has no meaning

nonsense

noun
non·​sense | \ ˈnän-ˌsens How to pronounce nonsense (audio) , -səns\

Kids Definition of nonsense

: foolish or meaningless words, ideas, or actions Don't believe such nonsense.

nonsense

noun
non·​sense | \ ˈnän-ˌsen(t)s, ˈnän(t)-sən(t)s How to pronounce nonsense (audio) \

Medical Definition of nonsense

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: genetic information consisting of one or more codons that do not code for any amino acid and usually cause termination of the molecular chain in protein synthesis — compare antisense, missense

nonsense

adjective

Medical Definition of nonsense (Entry 2 of 2)

: consisting of one or more codons that are genetic nonsense nonsense mutations

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More from Merriam-Webster on nonsense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nonsense

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nonsense

Spanish Central: Translation of nonsense

Nglish: Translation of nonsense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nonsense for Arabic Speakers

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