[noh-non-sens, -suhns]


not tolerating anything frivolous or trifling; firm and businesslike: a no-nonsense approach to money matters; a no-nonsense teacher with well-behaved classes.
economical or utilitarian; practical: a no-nonsense car that gets excellent gas mileage.
plain and simple; not fancy, complicated, or elegant: no-nonsense recipes for easy preparation.

Origin of no-nonsense

First recorded in 1925–30

Synonyms for no-nonsense Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for no-nonsense

Contemporary Examples of no-nonsense

Historical Examples of no-nonsense

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

  • "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.


    Gordon Randall Garrett

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


    Harry Harrison

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

British Dictionary definitions for no-nonsense



sensible, practical, straightforward; without nonsense of any kinda 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

Word Origin and History for no-nonsense

"not tolerating foolishness, businesslike," 1928," from phrase to stand no nonsense, which is attested from 1821, originally in sporting slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper