Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person regarded as being of no importance or significance.
  • n. Nonexistence.
  • n. Something that does not exist or that exists only in the imagination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an unimportant or insignificant person

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Nonexistence; the negation of being.
  • n. A thing not existing.
  • n. A person or thing of little or no account; an unimportant person; -- usually used as a disparaging term.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Non-existence; the negation of being.
  • A thing between being and nothing; a negation, relation, or ens rationis.
  • A figment; a nothing.
  • Nothingness; insignificance; futility.
  • A person or thing of no consequence or importance: as, he is a mere nonentity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person of no influence
  • n. the state of not existing

Etymologies

non- +‎ entity (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Joe McElderry – Shuddering nonentity from the north-east.

    X Factor Final Betting Odds – Journey South Odds

  • “Without the cathedral, Kingsbridge would be nothing, the priory would sink back into obscurity, and Philip would once again be a nonentity, which is what he deserves.”

    The Pillars of the Earth

  • His nonentity was a source of regret to us: we lamented to see a tall handsome youth, destined to rule over his fellow-men, trembling at the eight of a horse, and wasting his time in the game of hide-and-seek, or at leap-frog and whose whole information consisted in knowing his prayers, and in saying grace before and after meals.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Collection of Memoirs of Napoleon

  • What the rationalist calls nonentity is the substrate and locus of all ideas, having the obstinate reality of matter, the crushing irrationality of existence itself; and one who attempts to override it becomes to that extent an irrelevant rhapsodist, dealing with thin after-images of being.

    The Life of Reason

  • He has been brought up to understand that to be a Duke is not to be a titled nonentity or a pampered _roué_, but to be one whom Providence has blessed with an opportunity of benefiting and watching over the welfare of those less fortunate than himself in the world's good gifts.

    A Bid for Fortune or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta

  • His nonentity was a source of regret to us: we lamented to see s tall handsome youth, destined to rule over his fellow-men, trembling at the eight of a horse, and wasting his time in the game of hide-and - seek, or at leap-frog and whose whole information consisted in knowing his prayers, and in saying grace before and after meals.

    The Memoirs of Napoleon

  • Oh, and I'm such a "nonentity" that this thread is STILL going on, I see.

    David Lindsay: New Labour Are Cleaned Up Trots

  • At strategy sessions of the Bush-Cheney campaign he was a "nonentity," recalled one Bush adviser.

    INNER CIRCLE

  • She lives there with her current man, Floyd, a kind of nonentity who has little influence on Val's life or on his thinking.

    Breaking Even by Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

  • Hawkins, one of the botany detail, was the spokesman, more or less, which I found surprising because Hawkins has always struck me as a kind of nonentity, one of those civil servants who make up the bulk of these teams, doing their jobs with all the efficiency and imagination they might possess if they were working in a huge bureau back here.

    Christmas on Ganymede and Other Stories

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