a person who refuses to conform, as to established customs, attitudes, or ideas.
(often initial capital letter) a Protestant in England who is not a member of the Church of England; dissenter.

Origin of nonconformist

First recorded in 1610–20; non- + conformist

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

Examples from the Web for non-conformist

Contemporary Examples of non-conformist

Historical Examples of non-conformist

  • It was plain, but its plainness was not the barrenness of a non-conformist chapel.

    The Golden House

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • I said mischievously, for I loved to jar his non-conformist conscience.

  • With Emerson he might have agreed that "whoso would be a man must be a non-conformist."

  • He looked shocked,he was a Non-conformist,but remembering in time how rich I was, he bowed with a meek patience.

  • He threatened to punish any man "who gave two pence" toward the support of a Non-conformist minister.

British Dictionary definitions for non-conformist



a person who does not conform to generally accepted patterns of behaviour or thought


of or characterized by behaviour that does not conform to generally accepted patterns
Derived Formsnonconformism, noun



a member of a Protestant denomination that dissents from an Established Church, esp the Church of England


of, relating to, or denoting Nonconformists
Derived FormsNonconformity or Nonconformism, noun
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-conformist

also nonconformist, 1610s, originally one who adhered to Church of England doctrine but not its practice, from non- + conformist. After their ejection under the Act of Uniformity (1662) the name passed to the separate churches they joined or formed. In general use from 1670s as "one who does not participate in a practice or course of action." As an adjective from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper