[ noh-non-sens, -suhns ]
/ ˈnoʊˈnɒn sɛns, -səns /


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.

Nearby words

  1. no-man's-land,
  2. no-mark,
  3. no-mates,
  4. no-name,
  5. no-no,
  6. no-one,
  7. no-par,
  8. no-parking,
  9. no-place,
  10. no-return

Origin of no-nonsense

First recorded in 1925–30 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for no-nonsense

British Dictionary definitions for no-nonsense


/ (ˌnəʊˈnɒnsəns) /


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