nonsense

noun
non·sense | \ ˌnän-ˌsen(t)s , 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 \ adjective
nonsensically \ˌnän-ˈsen(t)-si-k(ə-)lē \ adverb
nonsensicalness \ˌnän-ˈsen(t)-si-kəl-nəs \ 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

The great theater actress Charlayne Woodard recurs as Damon’s caring but no-nonsense dance instructor, while Angelica Ross steals many of her scenes as Candy, one of Elektra’s girls, whose ambition is high and whose loyalty is wavering. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Pose Is Bold, Necessary Melodrama," 30 May 2018 Maybe new no-nonsense and nose-to-the-grindstone coach James O’Connor has finally forced Orlando City — its players and its management — to do just that. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "James O’Connor is finally forcing Orlando City’s players to look in the mirror," 14 July 2018 But young summer audiences will nonetheless delight in the goofy, low-stakes nonsense the mostly engaging characters generate. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ant-Man and the Wasp': Film Review," 27 June 2018 The idea that this proves the investigation of Trump was fatally poisoned assumes that FBI agents have never expressed strong political opinions before, which is is obvious nonsense. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Latest and Most Insane New Theory for Shutting Down Mueller Probe," 25 June 2018 Lauer is a no-nonsense coach who will get the most out of his athletes. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arizona high school football teams that could surprise in 2018," 22 June 2018 Don’t miss: Collette LeGrande, the sassy, saucy waitress and longtime performer who takes no nonsense. Emma Silvers, San Francisco Chronicle, "Your guide to the best bars to hit on Pride weekend," 14 June 2018 Both characters are doctors: Akhmed is a bad village physician who never wanted to become one, while Sonja is a no-nonsense surgeon who has returned home after working in the West. Sarah Mupo, STAT, "The 39 best health and science books to read this summer," 25 June 2018 Usually, fans would write off that kind of nonsense as a harmless grab for screen time and, probably, a desperate audition for Bachelor In Paradise. refinery29.com, "Has The Real World Completely Ruined The Bachelorette Fantasy?," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Hoffman supplied nonsense answers, calling himself Cardinal Spellman and claiming his group didn’t exist. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How the New York Stock Exchange Gave Abbie Hoffman His Start in Guerrilla Theater," 24 Aug. 2017 But that didn't stop members of Congress from opining on the definition of the most popular nonsense word of Trump's presidency. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "Trump tweets ‘covfefe,’ inspiring a semi-comedic act of Congress," 31 May 2017 A nonsense line about the relationship between holes and Royal Albert Hall’s seating capacity. Nicholas Dawidoff, The Atlantic, "How the Beatles Wrote ‘A Day in the Life’," 18 May 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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Phrases Related to nonsense

a lot of garbage/nonsense

make (a) nonsense of

Statistics for nonsense

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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 , -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 \

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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Comments on nonsense

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