One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Expressing negation or absence.‘non-aggression’‘non-recognition’
- 1.1 Not of the kind or class described.‘non-believer’‘nonconformist’
- 1.2 Not of the importance implied.‘non-issue’
- 1.1 Not of the kind or class described.
2(added to adverbs) not in the way described.‘non-uniformly’
3(added to verbs to form adjectives) not causing or requiring.‘non-skid’‘non-iron’
4Expressing a neutral negative sense when a corresponding form beginning with in- or un- has a special connotation (such as non-human compared with inhuman).
The prefixes non- and un- both have the meaning ‘not’, but tend to be used with a difference of emphasis. See un-
From Latin non ‘not’.
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