Definition of nonchalant in US English:



  • (of a person or manner) feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm.

    ‘she gave a nonchalant shrug’
    • ‘Sean gave a nonchalant shrug in reply and sat down on the edge of his bed.’
    • ‘Jessica sounded nonchalant, but secretly she loved the fact that her target was Miranda.’
    • ‘Bowyer, on the other hand, displayed a nonchalant grin, full of boyish bravado.’
    • ‘As soon as I got a chance to turn around to look at him in a suitably subtle and nonchalant manner, I did so.’
    • ‘I headed towards the English department doing my best to be nonchalant.’
    • ‘He shrugged, utterly nonchalant, and it was then she realised he hadn't touched a drop of rum all evening.’
    • ‘Doc Charlie would casually flirt with the nonchalant female who would ever so calmly refuse.’
    • ‘He'd said it in such an offhand and nonchalant manner, though, that I decided to let it drop.’
    • ‘They are ostentatiously nonchalant, disinclined to become too involved, at least to begin with.’
    • ‘She was talking about my present life in such a nonchalant way and acting as though it wasn't important.’
    • ‘The men swore again, wondering how Tori could be so nonchalant when so many things were going wrong.’
    • ‘Sanderson, 64 last week, is characteristically nonchalant at the prospect.’
    • ‘They both act very nonchalant, as though there is absolutely no attraction, but anyone with eyes could see straight through it.’
    • ‘He was very nonchalant, very offhand at the press conference when he was making those comments.’
    • ‘There was so much intensity in his face, yet he appeared calm and nonchalant.’
    • ‘He shrugged, and though he tried to appear nonchalant she could tell he was pleased by her approval, which made her smile even more.’
    • ‘Kyle smiled down at his father and tried to correct his posture and look very cool and nonchalant at the same time.’
    • ‘About halfway across the parking lot, she slowed her pace, trying to appear nonchalant.’
    • ‘I shrugged in the most nonchalant way possible and crawled up onto my knees so I could fall back to sit against the wall comfortably.’
    • ‘However, like many divers, Lisa is quite nonchalant about the unexpected visitors.’
    untroubled, unworried, unruffled, unconcerned, lacking concern, indifferent, blasé, heedless, relaxed, calm, equable, equanimous, serene, composed, casual, easy, easy-going, airy, breezy, carefree, free and easy, free from care, free from worry, happy-go-lucky, light-hearted, frivolous, unserious
    calm, cool, unconcerned, collected, cool, calm, and collected, cool as a cucumber, composed, airy
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: from French, literally ‘not being concerned’, from the verb nonchaloir.