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2017 Word of the Year

nonentity

[non-en-ti-tee] /nɒnˈɛn tɪ ti/
noun, plural nonentities.
1.
a person or thing of no importance.
2.
something that does not exist or exists only in imagination.
Origin of nonentity
1590-1600
First recorded in 1590-1600; non- + entity
Synonyms
1. nobody, cipher, mediocrity, zero, nullity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for non-entity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They shrink into non-entity, when touched by the wand of truth.

  • However useless the demonstration otherwise, philosophy does well in proving that matter is a non-entity.

  • They will not admit the teaching of the Eleatics, who, when they say "There is only One," add expressly that non-entity is not.

  • That which is absolutely without the domain of the intelligible is absolutely unintelligible and therefore a non-entity.

  • We could not communicate; for the being to whom our communication was addressed we were satisfied was a non-entity.

    Thoughts on Man William Godwin
  • Braanol stirred, throbbed sluggishly once, then lay quiescent as his mental self surged up from the deeps of non-entity.

    Walls of Acid Henry Hasse
  • He was, as it were, weighing entity and non-entity in careful, metaphorical scales.

    Little Nobody Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller
  • He has at the outset the not inconsiderable advantage of being an entity instead of a non-entity.

    God and Mr. Wells William Archer
  • (Entity) does not spring from non-entity on account of that not being observed.

British Dictionary definitions for non-entity

nonentity

/ˌnɒnˈɛntɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
an insignificant person or thing
2.
a nonexistent thing
3.
the state of not existing; nonexistence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for non-entity
n.

also nonentity, c.1600, "something which does not exist," from non- + entity. Meaning "a person or thing of no importance" is attested from 1710.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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