See more synonyms for nonstandard on
  1. not standard.
  2. not conforming in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, etc., to the usage characteristic of and considered acceptable by most educated native speakers; lacking in social prestige or regionally or socially limited in use: a nonstandard dialect; nonstandard English.Compare standard(def 27).
  3. Mathematics. of or relating to a generalized system of numbers that includes the real numbers but also includes infinite and infinitesimal numbers: nonstandard analysis.

Origin of nonstandard

First recorded in 1920–25; non- + standard

Usage note

A term labeled Nonstandard in this dictionary is one that is thought to be characteristic of the speech of persons with little education—a term that is often regarded as a marker of low social status. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nonstandard

Contemporary Examples of nonstandard

  • Alternatively, the cancer could have spread during the nine months that Jobs was experimenting with nonstandard therapies.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Jobs’s Unorthodox Treatment

    Sharon Begley

    October 6, 2011

Historical Examples of nonstandard

  • Where the hell did my subway pass get off on finking me out for having a "nonstandard ride pattern?"

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • Oh, you mean riding public transit in a nonstandard way isn't a crime?

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for nonstandard


  1. denoting or characterized by idiom, vocabulary, etc, that is not regarded as correct and acceptable by educated native speakers of a language; not standard
  2. deviating from a given standard
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