non·​word | \ ˌnän-ˈwərd How to pronounce nonword (audio) \

Definition of nonword

: a word that has no meaning, is not known to exist, or is disapproved

Examples of nonword in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pigeons mastered that task and transferred their knowledge to new sets of words and nonwords by using spelling strategies akin to those practiced by primary school pupils. Onur Güntürkün, Scientific American, "“Birdbrain” Turns from Insult to Praise," 1 Jan. 2020 Researchers conducted online surveys in which Americans rated the humor value of 120,000 words and nonwords, then used computers to analyze the data. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "Bejesus! A cockamamie AI can predict which craptacular words you’ll find funny," 17 June 2019 But critics say the name will teach children a nonword. Melissa Gray, CNN, "Crayola's new color name draws criticism," 15 Sep. 2017

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

1961, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nonword was in 1961

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Cite this Entry

“Nonword.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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