non·sense (nŏnsĕns′, -səns)
1. Words or signs having no intelligible meaning: a message that was nonsense until decoded.
2. Subject matter, behavior, or language that is foolish or absurd.
3. Extravagant foolishness or frivolity: a clown's exuberant nonsense.
4. Matter of little or no importance or usefulness: a chatty letter full of gossip and nonsense.
5. Insolent talk or behavior; impudence: wouldn't take any nonsense from the children.
Genetics Of or relating to a mutation in a structural gene that changes a nucleotide triplet into a stop codon, thus prematurely terminating the polypeptide chain during protein synthesis.
Used to express disagreement or exasperation.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.