Definition of nonsense in English:



  • 1Spoken or written words that have no meaning or make no sense.

    ‘he was talking absolute nonsense’
    • ‘Are there any other volunteers to write nonsense out there?’
    • ‘Like I said earlier, it's absolute nonsense but nonsense which has been crafted with care and boundless enthusiasm.’
    • ‘I'll keep writing nonsense on their lined pages.’
    • ‘In 1951 if I had said I was going to the deli to pick up a sixpack of coke, people would have thought I was speaking nonsense; the words were foreign.’
    • ‘But I did produce much nonsense and some actual words on stacks of punch cards.’
    • ‘My wife thinks he's some kind of demi-god and I'm just the bloke in the study writing nonsense, you know.’
    • ‘His biography is eminently sensible on a subject about which much high-flown transcendental nonsense has been written.’
    • ‘I think I am blabbering nonsense and I should stop.’
    • ‘They are absolute nonsense and make no sense, at all.’
    • ‘It made sense at that moment, you know, to roar incoherent nonsense while standing on stage with one of my musical icons.’
    • ‘So, I may be an idiot, or just plain stupid, but I'm going to go ahead and admit that all of this gas price nonsense makes absolutely no sense to me.’
    • ‘Then he comes into this House, along with his colleagues, and talks a lot of drivel and absolute nonsense.’
    • ‘I try to write, and manage 60 words of unsatisfactory nonsense before I give up.’
    • ‘I re-read the essay tonight, and it still reads like nonsense (not a word I use lightly) to me.’
    • ‘People get very frustrated because they're trying to make sense out of nonsense.’
    • ‘The interesting thing is that he wrote this nonsense in October 2001-months before New Jersey officials appointed him their Poet Laureate.’
    • ‘Yes, it's a splendid piece of nonsense she writes.’
    • ‘And perhaps the one or two readers who told me I was writing nonsense will remember as well?’
    • ‘But what possesses them to write such nonsense with a straight face is beyond me.’
    rubbish, balderdash, gibberish, claptrap, blarney, guff, blather, blether
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as exclamation]Used to show strong disagreement.
      ‘‘Nonsense! No one can do that.’’
      • ‘The second man was indignant at hearing this: ‘What nonsense!’’
      • ‘As for his assertion that they would have replaced poll tax with a local income tax if it was feasible - nonsense!’
      • ‘As a stickler for law and order, I say: nonsense!’
    2. 1.2[as modifier]Denoting verse or other writing intended to be amusing by virtue of its absurd or whimsical language.
      ‘nonsense poetry’
      • ‘Based on the life and nonsense poems of Edward Lear, the show was nominated for a Total Theatre Award and widely praised by the critics.’
      • ‘The Dada-influenced Suite for Chamber Orchestra, composed two years before the concerto, begins with a short nonsense poem, in true Dada style.’
      • ‘In fact, several of my favourite nonsense poems are by Lewis Carroll.’
      • ‘These two cuts are highlights from the album for me, especially ‘I Love You So’ with its nonsense lyrics.’
      • ‘The nonsense lyrics are either the ramblings of a burnt out fool or transcendent works of genius.’
      • ‘Successful nonsense verse must respect the structure and syntax of a language.’
      • ‘Trash might be collectible, nonsense lyrics might be profound.’
      • ‘Every language had its stock of lullabies, nursery rhymes, nonsense verses, fairytales and simple stories.’
      • ‘It's a nonsense verse used by everyone from boy scouts to football hooligans.’
      • ‘Vocal tracks fare better, presenting skittish pop with goofy arrangements and nonsense lyrics.’
      • ‘But there are also disadvantages, including the nonsense sentences made from just these six letters.’
      • ‘Her stories, told in nonsense verse, are fast-paced with a rhythm that carries through its pages.’
      • ‘I got a text message on my cell phone today with nonsense poetry from an unknown source.’
      • ‘But before you get it all wrong, it's the world of nonsense poetry that the people at Akshara are talking about.’
      • ‘There were innumerable short parodies of Shakespeare's work, and Carroll's nonsense verse is often parodic.’
      • ‘During these years he wrote his greatest nonsense verse.’
      • ‘Ackroyd then traces the development of comic writing through the wit of John Donne to the nonsense books of Lewis Carroll.’
      • ‘It is not addressed to anyone, is not in the Knave's handwriting, and is actually a set of nonsense verses.’
      • ‘It is more difficult to believe that two irreverent jokers who set out to write nonsense verses could have been inspired by the gods without knowing it.’
      • ‘As a boy of 11, I loved the nonsense verse of Façade, which I used to read whilst listening to Peggy Ashcroft and Paul Scofield's recorded version.’
  • 2Foolish or unacceptable behaviour.

    ‘she's a strong woman who stands no nonsense’
    • ‘I appeal to all concern to stop this silly nonsense before someone is seriously hurt.’
    • ‘Now when Greta occasionally forgets her manners, the owner can stop this nonsense by standing in her kitchen doorway with the can in her hands so that Greta can see it.’
    • ‘But, if the people of Washington, D.C., will stand up as citizens and exert their druthers, this nonsense would stop.’
    • ‘This patient won't stand for any nonsense - but she does require instant gratification’
    • ‘The players under Shutt know he will stand no nonsense.’
    • ‘Finally, it is time to stop this fantastic nonsense and get down to real hard work.’
    • ‘Ok, so American justice isn't always perfect, but this nonsense sure doesn't help.’
    • ‘Once again we appeal to these unsavoury people to please stop this silly nonsense.’
    • ‘Let us hope that the good people of Virginia put a stop to this nonsense.’
    • ‘My vote of no confidence is also aimed at each and every councillor who is not man enough to stand up and stop this nonsense.’
    • ‘Two outbreaks of such arrogant nonsense occurred recently.’
    • ‘Frankly, I am not going to stand any of your nonsense; and when you drop it I shall not expect you to stand any of mine.’
    • ‘I believed that his romanticisms were foolish nonsense and were to be looked down upon.’
    • ‘Stop this nonsense at once, or you'll go to bed with no supper.’
    • ‘Our bill would have stopped that nonsense as well.’
    • ‘‘Guys can you stop all this nonsense for just few minutes,’ Kaoru said and stood in-between them.’
    • ‘It is long past time to stop the partisan nonsense.’
    • ‘We appeal to those offenders to please stop this silly nonsense, as this is not a nice thing to do.’
    • ‘Referee Peter McCarthy refused to stand for any nonsense and brandished a succession of cards.’
    • ‘To have those rights overridden by such ridiculous nonsense and sheer arrogance is unacceptable.’
    mischief, mischievousness, naughtiness, badness
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[count noun]Something ridiculously impractical or ill-advised.
      ‘the law is a nonsense’
      ‘the proposal would make a nonsense of their plans’
      • ‘Corporate social responsibility, Friedman assures him, is a nonsense - not just illegal, but immoral.’
      • ‘No doubt Brenner wishes that the 1990s had never happened, since the economic optimism in that decade seems to make a nonsense of his thesis.’
      • ‘However, the dates make a nonsense of this suggestion.’
      • ‘The World Cup opening stages tend to make a nonsense of received wisdom.’
      • ‘But this is, in fact, true in law - and it is what makes a nonsense of the Human Rights Act.’
      • ‘They have turned a potentially good idea into a nonsense.’
      • ‘She bristles at Government's attitudes to the unemployed, arguing her daily experiences make a nonsense of claims the outlook is brightening.’
      • ‘Mr Speaker, this really does make a nonsense of Standing Order 301.’
      • ‘And such, I'm afraid, are the daily nonsenses with which writers are assailed by publishers.’
      • ‘‘It's an absurd nonsense that Parliament should not sit for two and a half months,’ he says.’
      • ‘The passage of time has made a nonsense of that verdict.’
      • ‘European human rights ‘laws’ are a nonsense of course, as shown by the statement about discrimination based on immigration status.’
      • ‘Other police forces said such a policy was a nonsense.’
      • ‘The rule is a nonsense as was shown last Monday - all a jockey needs to do is walk to the nearest course exit, jump outside, make his mobile call and walk back in.’
      • ‘It was estimated that just 20% of dogs have a licence, making a nonsense out of the law.’
      • ‘Both Royds and Wibsey wards will be bisected by busy main roads which ought to be boundaries, and to extend Wibsey into Marshfields is a nonsense.’
      • ‘They make a nonsense of her claim that it ‘will protect the diversity and plurality of our media’.’
      • ‘He regards the ban on hunting with dogs as a nonsense.’
      • ‘He said: ‘He has been in this country for such a long time it seems a bit of a nonsense to pursue this.’’
      • ‘Dalrymple takes us on a grand tour of the nonsenses and hypocrisies which surround this tale, and in doing so he exposes, yet again, the cretinous and self-serving nature of much of what passes, these days, for academic discourse.’