Definition of nonliving in US English:



  • 1Inanimate; inorganic.

    ‘materials that come from nonliving sources’
    • ‘A few types of bacteria also manufacture food from nonliving substances and therefore serve as producers in some cave communities.’
    • ‘Inorganic mulches are materials that come from nonliving sources.’
    • ‘The experiments in this study showed that the directions of the change of the reflected light intensity caused by biological systems and heated nonliving objects are always opposite.’
    • ‘Direct and indirect effects of UV radiation on nonliving and living systems have been the object of a number of important research efforts.’
    • ‘In nonhuman terms, others might include other living species and the major nonliving components of the Earth.’
    • ‘Having discovered that the usual agents of fermentation, such as yeasts and bacteria, were alive, he denied the possibility of fermentation by nonliving substances.’
    • ‘Chemical toxins differ from biological weapons in that they are nonliving pathogens and require direct infection and contact with the victim.’
    • ‘A variety of living and nonliving skin substitutes are already available.’
    • ‘The Gaia hypothesis was later refined to emphasize that the environment is regulated through feedback between living and nonliving systems.’
    • ‘Sponges subsist on macroscopic detritus material, but also consume cellular material, bacteria, and nonliving particles so small they cannot be resolved with a light microscope.’
    • ‘Another theory was that fossils were nonliving imitations of living things, directly created by God.’
    • ‘Life on earth is a web of relationships in which plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and even nonliving entities mutually support each other.’
    • ‘Reason is what distinguishes us from plants, nonhuman animals, and nonliving things, and so our purpose must involve its fruitful cultivation.’
    • ‘Molecular machines will bridge the gap between living matter and nonliving matter, making the border between life and death much fuzzier.’
    • ‘Life depends upon the nonliving world for habitat, as well as energy and materials.’
    • ‘Reproduction - the process by which organisms make more organisms like themselves - is one of the things that sets living things apart from nonliving things.’
    • ‘Design and construction professionals call the nonliving components of any landscape the hardscape.’
    • ‘The Primordial Essence that is our individual lives extends throughout the limitless universe and permeates all things, living and nonliving.’
    • ‘These explanations proceed by asserting that the most complex nonliving molecules will reproduce more efficiently than less complex nonliving molecules.’
    • ‘All the living and nonliving elements present in nature follow some pattern.’
  • 2No longer alive.

    ‘a kidney from a nonliving donor’
    • ‘Only about 15 percent of kidney transplants are done with living donors, the other recipients must wait about five years before receiving a kidney from a nonliving donor.’