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

These Warriors have compartmentalized a ton of nonsense — including the Stevens fiasco — in an effort to keep their focus on winning a championship this year, a fourth in five years. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Beneath the noise, the Warriors face a unique challenge," 7 June 2019 People say don’t complain about class sizes, deport the illegals, you’re lousy teachers turning out a lousy product, and a lot of this is just nonsense. Steve Lopez, latimes.com, "A shrug from voters to struggling L.A. schools, and have a nice summer, kids," 5 June 2019 Cheers to Clarkson for being such an excellent sport about this kind of nonsense. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Kelly Clarkson's Response to Rumors She's Feuding With Carrie Underwood Is So Perfect," 19 Apr. 2019 But perhaps the idea of infinite-dimensional state spaces is nonsense. Quanta Magazine, "The Universe’s Ultimate Complexity Revealed by Simple Quantum Games," 5 Mar. 2019 The only explanation for such nonsense is that Mr. Putin demands his pound of flesh. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Russia’s Latin American Offensive," 2 Dec. 2018 Never in my wildest dreams would a serious candidate allow for such nonsense. Randy Blaser, chicagotribune.com, "J.B. Pritzker has answers for all the easy questions, but when it comes to fixing Illinois, he's 'gotta go'," 7 June 2018 The accessories designer has made a career out of creating the kind of no-nonsense add-ons that help her customers get their lives in order. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Alyce Tran Is Here to Edit Your Handbag and Your Life," 2 May 2019 The article makes big claims but outside Russian critics claim it’s all nonsense and that the article should never have appeared in a Russian military publication. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Journal Claims Russian Troops Have Psychic Powers," 4 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

6 Jul 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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characterized by aphorism

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