sine qua non

noun si·ne qua non \ ˌsi-ni-ˌkwä-ˈnän , -ˈnōn also ˌsē- ; also ˌsī-ni-ˌkwā-ˈnän \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of sine qua non

plural sine qua nons also sine quibus non play \-ˌkwi-(ˌ)bu̇s- also -ˌkwī-\
: something absolutely indispensable or essential
  • reliability is a sine qua non for success

Examples of sine qua non in a Sentence

  1. Patience is a sine qua non for this job.

  2. an extensive grounding in mathematics is a sine qua non for a career in architecture

Recent Examples of sine qua non from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Sine qua non can be translated literally as "Without which, not". Though this may sound like gibberish, it means more or less "Without (something), (something else) won't be possible". Sine qua non sounds slightly literary, and it shouldn't be used just anywhere. But it actually shows up in many contexts, including business ("A solid customer base is the sine qua non to success"), show business ("A good agent is a sine qua non for an actor's career"), and politics ("His support was really the sine qua non for her candidacy").

Origin and Etymology of sine qua non

Late Latin, without which not


SINE QUA NON Defined for English Language Learners

sine qua non

noun

Definition of sine qua non for English Language Learners

  • : something that is absolutely needed



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