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[non-shuh-lahnt, non-shuh-lahnt, -luhnt]
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  1. coolly unconcerned, indifferent, or unexcited; casual: His nonchalant manner infuriated me.
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Origin of nonchalant

1725–35; < French nonchalant, present participle of obsolete nonchaloir to lack warmth (of heart), be indifferent, equivalent to non- non- + chaloir < Latin calēre to be warm. See -ant
Related formsnon·cha·lant·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for nonchalant

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The doctor's manner, quick and nonchalant, evidently aggravated his patient.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • But the old hero had been nonchalant and calm about the whole thing.

    Acid Bath

    Vaseleos Garson

  • This other's nonchalant strength of decision allured her uncertainty.

    The Flying Mercury

    Eleanor M. Ingram

  • Blunt had calmed down suddenly and assumed a nonchalant pose.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

  • Then he turned a nonchalant glance towards McVeigh, and waited.

    The Bondwoman

    Marah Ellis Ryan

British Dictionary definitions for nonchalant


  1. casually unconcerned or indifferent; uninvolved
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Derived Formsnonchalance, nounnonchalantly, adverb

Word Origin

C18: from French, from nonchaloir to lack warmth, from non- + chaloir, from Latin calēre to be warm
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 nonchalant


1734, from French nonchalant, present participle of nonchaloir "be indifferent to, have no concern for" (13c.), from non- "not" (see non-) + chaloir "have concern for," ultimately from Latin calere "be hot" (see calorie). French chaland "customer, client" is of the same origin. Related: Nonchalantly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper