not committing oneself, or not involving committal, to a particular view, course, or the like: The senator gave us a noncommittal answer.

Origin of noncommittal

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30; non- + committal
Related formsnon·com·mit·tal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for noncommittal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for non-committal

Contemporary Examples of non-committal

Historical Examples of non-committal

  • The other seemed to be judging him in a non-committal sort of way.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • "I suppose the captain is obliged to be non-committal," I observed.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Most men want to marry her," was the father's non-committal response.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • "I just didn't want them about," was the prisoner's non-committal answer.

  • Mr. Mix smiled again, and hoped that his expression was taken to be non-committal.


    Holworthy Hall

British Dictionary definitions for non-committal



not involving or revealing commitment to any particular opinion or course of actiona noncommittal reply
rare having no outstanding quality, meaning, etc
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-committal

also noncommittal, 1829, "characterized by refusal to commit oneself," from non- + committal (see commit).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper