[non-sens, -suhns]


words or language having little or no sense or meaning.
conduct, action, etc., that is senseless, foolish, or absurd: to have tolerated enough nonsense.
impudent, insubordinate, or otherwise objectionable behavior: He doesn't have to take that nonsense from you.
something absurd or fatuous: the utter nonsense of such a suggestion.
anything of trifling importance or of little or no use.
Genetics. a DNA sequence that does not code for an amino acid and is not transcribed (distinguished from sense).

Origin of nonsense

First recorded in 1605–15; non- + sense
Related formsnon·sen·si·cal [non-sen-si-kuhl] /nɒnˈsɛn sɪ kəl/, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for nonsense

Contemporary Examples of nonsense

Historical Examples of nonsense

  • Nonsense must have the dew on it, or it is good for nothing.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • "Nonsense," he laughed, with the air of a man certain of his facts.


    William J. Locke

  • It's all nonsense, and I'm going to see that you're both stopped.

  • I am talking very like nonsense, majie, but I can't do it better.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • That it was only a Yankee ship, any how, and that it is all "blarsted" nonsense to make a fuss about it.

British Dictionary definitions for nonsense



something that has or makes no sense; unintelligible language; drivel
conduct or action that is absurd
foolish or evasive behaviour or mannersshe'll stand no nonsense
things of little or no value or importance; trash


an exclamation of disagreement
Derived Formsnonsensical (nɒnˈsɛnsɪkəl), adjectivenonsensically, adverbnonsensicalness or nonsensicality, 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 nonsense

1610s, from non- + sense; perhaps influenced by French nonsens.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nonsense in Science



Relating to a mutation in a structural gene that changes a nucleotide triplet into a stop codon, thus prematurely terminating the polypeptide chain during protein synthesis. See more at point mutation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with nonsense


see stuff and nonsense.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.