[ noh-non-sens, -suhns ]
See synonyms for no-nonsense on
  1. not tolerating anything frivolous or trifling; firm and businesslike: a no-nonsense approach to money matters; a no-nonsense teacher with well-behaved classes.

  2. economical or utilitarian; practical: a no-nonsense car that gets excellent gas mileage.

  1. plain and simple; not fancy, complicated, or elegant: no-nonsense recipes for easy preparation.

Origin of no-nonsense

First recorded in 1925–30

Other words for no-nonsense

Words Nearby no-nonsense Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use no-nonsense in a sentence

  • They mostly had a no-nonsense look about them, as if they were not going to be satisfied with more oratory.

  • With their compact bodies and no-nonsense mannerisms they were recognizably Pyrran.

    Deathworld | Harry Harrison
  • "I've been looking around," Malone said in what he hoped was a grim, no-nonsense tone.

    Occasion for Disaster | Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He won't be capable of taking a no-nonsense, dogmatic, black-and-white stand.

    Psichopath | Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He was as much a "no-nonsense" fellow, in his way, as a magistrate, or a minister.'

    Evan Harrington, Complete | George Meredith

British Dictionary definitions for no-nonsense


/ (ˌnəʊˈnɒnsəns) /

  1. sensible, practical, straightforward; without nonsense of any kind: a businesslike no-nonsense approach; a severe no-nonsense look

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