a prefix meaning “not,” freely used as an English formative, usually with a simple negative force as implying mere negation or absence of something (rather than the opposite or reverse of it, as often expressed by un-1): nonadherence; noninterference; nonpayment; nonprofessional.

Origin of non-

prefix representing L adv. nōn not

non obstante

[nohn ohb-stahn-te; English non ob-stan-tee]

preposition Latin.

Origin of non obstante

short for Anglo-Latin, Latin nōn obstante aliquō statūtō in contrārium any statute to the contrary notwithstanding

non placet

[non pley-sit]


(especially in a church or university assembly) an expression or vote of dissent or disapproval.

Origin of non placet

First recorded in 1580–90, non placet is from the Latin word nōn placet it is not pleasing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for non

Contemporary Examples of non

Historical Examples of non

  • And she is, as I believe you are aware, a remarkably fine woman, with no non—'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Of this the Bard remarks “ni mad,” it was not honourable, “non bene.”

    Y Gododin


  • He merely shook his head, said "Non capisco," and inquired if I was "Prussiano."

  • Presently he looked up; she nodded and the Ah, non giunge floated from her.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • Non,” replied the Russian, with the air of a man of principles.

    The Gypsies

    Charles G. Leland

British Dictionary definitions for non



indicating negationnonexistent
indicating refusal or failurenoncooperation
indicating exclusion from a specified class of persons or thingsnonfiction
indicating lack or absence, esp of a quality associated with what is specifiednonobjective; nonevent

Word Origin for non-

from Latin nōn not
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 non


prefix meaning "not, lack of," or "sham," 14c., from Anglo-French noun-, from Old French non-, from Latin non "not, by no means, not at all, not a," from Old Latin noenum "not one" (*ne oinom, from PIE *ne "not" + *oi-no-; see one). In some cases perhaps from Middle English non "not" (adj.), from Old English nan (see not).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for non



The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.