Definition of nonentity in English:



  • 1A person or thing with no special or interesting qualities; an unimportant person or thing.

    ‘a political nonentity’
    • ‘Now, it seems, in order to cease being politically led nonentities, councillors aspire to become politically led somebodies by virtue of paying themselves more and more.’
    • ‘But with reality TV fast becoming the most popular genre on our screens, an ever increasing number of nonentities are demanding more than their quarter-hour.’
    • ‘I have seen it before where big teams have lost to nonentities.’
    • ‘That's why these two political nonentities are stuck in the political quagmire of Vietnam.’
    • ‘Well, it is about time we had some celebrities honoured and it is about time that the self-seeking nonentities who inhabit City Hall acknowledged this and honoured some.’
    • ‘Irrespective of last week's triumphs over some continental nonentities, who really cares?’
    • ‘And how can a healthy Baker not be better than the negligible nonentities Boston used for an inside attack last season?’
    • ‘Cleaning ladies and janitors would stop by her desk to chat, and as Deidre was never condescending, she seemed to get better service simply because she didn't consider them invisible nonentities.’
    • ‘They are mediocre nonentities who demand to know your tax history, your type of business, your social status.’
    • ‘Morally, ethically and intrinsically, they are nonentities.’
    • ‘While some of us may or may not adhere to these beliefs, those out of step become nonentities, dismissed as right-wing, misguided, and unenlightened.’
    • ‘Such exclusive language has communicated to women for centuries that they are nonentities, subspecies of men, subordinated and inferior to them not only on a cultural, but also on a religious plane.’
    • ‘Their modern-day equivalents are merely bureaucratic nonentities completely remote from everyday life.’
    • ‘Non-executive directors may give the impression, sometimes richly deserved, of being freeloading nonentities but they do shoulder onerous legal responsibilities, one of which is to resolve conflicts of interest among shareholders.’
    • ‘We know nothing about him, and isn't that better than knowing everything about most of the nonentities on football's centre stage?’
    • ‘The film is grainy, the lighting is bad and the actors are nonentities; it could almost be a South American snuff film.’
    • ‘Restricting access marginalizes youth, defining them as social nonentities at best, irritations at worst.’
    • ‘They are commodities or nonentities, items to be consumed and ignored.’
    • ‘I'm bound to say that they didn't look any worse than the rest of the ‘guests’ - a complete ‘C-list’ bunch of nonentities, dressed in a variety of ridiculous tartan costumes.’
    • ‘‘Indios,’ still widely despised by many of the wealthy in Mexico, are serving notice that they will no longer be treated as political nonentities.’
    unimportant person, person of no importance, person of no account, nobody, cipher, non-person, man of straw, nothing, small fry, lightweight
    mediocrity, second-rater
    no-hoper, non-starter
    small beer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[mass noun]The quality or condition of being uninteresting or unimportant.
      ‘the collection of topics is saved from nonentity by the stature of the contributors’
      • ‘To stay at home was to condemn yourself to nonentity.’
  • 2[mass noun] Non-existence.

    ‘asserting the nonentity of evil’
    • ‘What mysterious force or invisible hand guided the embryo's journey from nonentity to individual?’


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin nonentitas non-existence.