non·​threat·​en·​ing | \ˌnän-ˈthret-niŋ, -ˈthre-tᵊn-iŋ\

Definition of nonthreatening 

1 : not constituting a threat a nonthreatening illness

2 : not likely to cause anxiety a nonthreatening environment also : innocuous sense 2

Examples of nonthreatening in a Sentence

It's best to approach the dog in a calm, nonthreatening way.

Recent Examples on the Web

Europe may come apart at the seams because the cumulative effect of accepting nonthreatening refugees daily poses a major threat to Western cohesion, values, resources and fiscal health. WSJ, "Consider the Assimilationablity of Refugees," 8 Nov. 2018 Worse, the latest research suggests that only 27% of American women know how to apply eyeliner in a cohesive, nonthreatening fashion. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Grungy and Unkempt in the U.S.A.," 12 July 2018 This account — which, again, comes from Miller himself — shows a high-level presidential adviser responding to a completely nonviolent and nonthreatening gesture by throwing away his own food. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Stephen Miller Owned the Libs by Throwing Away His Own Sushi," 9 July 2018 Bust out the sparklers, bang snaps and other nonthreatening fireworks. Michelle Jenkins, idahostatesman, "Big July Calendar: Month is lit with fireworks, comic con and the Canyon County Fair," 28 June 2018 The ball soared of Clemens’ bat, a seemingly nonthreatening fly to deep left. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Bocchi, Clemens lead Texas to CWS for 36th time," 11 June 2018 In the Colorado legal world, Gorsuch was known as a menschy and nonthreatening Republican. Simon Van Zuylen-wood, Daily Intelligencer, "How Neil Gorsuch Became the Second-Most-Polarizing Man in Washington," 28 May 2018 Police agencies can walk away if the individual seems nonthreatening, and hospitals can discharge patients after a medical assessment and before a psychiatric assessment can be made. Thomas Curwen,, "Should California expand what it means to be 'gravely disabled'?," 18 Apr. 2018 In the past, Putin has campaigned against a roster of nonthreatening challengers that neither debate nor criticize him. Yana Gorokhovskaia, Washington Post, "In Moscow, candidates opposed to Putin are running — and winning. Here’s why that matters.," 4 Jan. 2018

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

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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The first known use of nonthreatening was in 1963

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English Language Learners Definition of nonthreatening

: not likely to cause someone to be afraid or worried : not threatening

Comments on nonthreatening

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to enclose within walls

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