noisome (adj.) Look up noisome at
late 14c., "harmful, noxious," from noye "harm, misfortune," shortened form of anoi "annoyance" (from Old French anoier, see annoy) + -some (1). Meaning "bad-smelling" first recorded 1570s. Related: Noisomeness.
noisy (adj.) Look up noisy at
1690s, "making noise," also "full of noise," from noise + -y (2). Earlier was noiseful (late 14c.). Related: Noisily; noisiness.
noli me tangere Look up noli me tangere at
late 14c., "type of facial ulcer, lupus," Latin, literally "touch me not," from noli, imperative of nolle "to be unwilling" + me (see me) + tangere "to touch" (from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle"). Used over the years of various persons or things that must not be touched, especially "picture of Jesus as he appeared to Mary Magdalene" (1670s, see John xx.17) and "plant of the genus Impatiens" (1560s, so called because the ripe seed pods burst when touched).
noll (n.) Look up noll at
"top of the head," Old English hnoll, cognate with Middle Dutch nolle, Old High German hnol "back part of the head."
nolle prosequi Look up nolle prosequi at
formal notice to a plaintiff that the prosecutor will not continue a suit, Latin, literally "to be unwilling to pursue." The verb nolle-pross is attested from 1880.
nolo contendere Look up nolo contendere at
Latin, literally "I do not wish to contend." A plea that admits no guilt but subjects the defendant to judgment.
nom (n.) Look up nom at
French, "name" (9c.), from Latin nomen (see name (n.)). Used in various phrases, such as nom de guerre (1670s), name used by a person engaged in some action, literally "war name;" nom de plume (1823), literally "pen name;" nom de théâtre (1874) "stage name." "Nom de plume is open to the criticism that it is ridiculous for English writers to use a French phrase that does not come from France" [Fowler].
nomad (n.) Look up nomad at
1550s, from Middle French nomade (16c.), from Latin Nomas (genitive Nomadis) "wandering groups in Arabia," from Greek nomas (genitive nomados, plural nomades) "roaming, roving, wandering" (to find pastures for flocks or herds), related to nomos "pasture, pasturage, grazing," literally "land allotted," from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take."
nomadic (adj.) Look up nomadic at
1800, from nomad + -ic.
Nome Look up Nome at
city in Alaska, founded in the 1898 gold rush and originally Anvil City after the nearby Anvil Creek, later renamed for nearby Cape Nome, which, according to one story is from a misreading of a British cartographer's query, ?Name, written beside the peninsula on an 1849 map, and according to another is from a supposed native no-me meaning "I don't know," a plea of noncomprehension when asked what the name of the place was.
nomenclature (n.) Look up nomenclature at
c. 1600, "a name," from Middle French nomenclature (16c.), from Latin nomenclatura "calling of names," from nomenclator "namer," from nomen "name" (see name (n.)) + calator "caller, crier," from calare "call out" (from PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout").

Nomenclator in Rome was the title of a steward whose job was to announce visitors, and also of a prompter who helped a stumping politician recall names and pet causes of his constituents. Meaning "list or catalogue of names" first attested 1630s; that of "system of naming" is from 1660s; sense of "terminology of a science" is from 1789.
nomenklatura (n.) Look up nomenklatura at
Russian, literally "a listing of positions to be filled," from Latin nomenclatura (see nomenclature).
nomial (adj.) Look up nomial at
1717, abstracted from binomial, etc.
nominal (adj.) Look up nominal at
early 15c., "pertaining to nouns," from Latin nominalis "pertaining to a name or names," from nomen (genitive nominis) "name," cognate with Old English nama (see name (n.)). Meaning "of the nature of names" (in distinction to things) is from 1610s. Meaning "being so in name only" first recorded 1620s.
nominalism (n.) Look up nominalism at
1820, "view that treats abstract concepts as names only, not realities," from French nominalisme (1752), from nominal, from Latin nominalis (see nominal). Related: Nominalist.
nominally (adv.) Look up nominally at
1660s, "as regards a name," from nominal + -ly (2). Meaning "in name only" (as opposed to really) is attested from 1748.
nominate (v.) Look up nominate at
1540s, "to call by name," back-formation from nomination or else from Latin nominatus, past participle of nominare "to name, call by name, give a name to," also "name for office,"" from nomen "name" (see name (n.)). Later "to appoint to some office or duty" (1560s); "to formally enter (someone) as a candidate for election" (c. 1600). It also occasionally was used from c. 1600 with a sense "give a name to." Related: Nominated; nominating.
nomination (n.) Look up nomination at
early 15c., "act of mentioning by name," from Middle French nomination (14c.), and directly from Latin nominationem (nominative nominatio) "a naming, designation," from nominare "to name" (see nominate (v.)). Meaning "fact of being proposed as a candidate" is attested from late 15c.
nominative (adj.) Look up nominative at
late 14c., "pertaining to the grammatical case dealing with the subject of a verb," from Old French nominatif, from Latin nominativus "pertaining to naming," from nominatus, past participle of nominare (see nominate). As a noun from 1620s.
nominator (n.) Look up nominator at
1650s, from Late Latin nominator, from Latin nominat-, past participle stem of nominare (see nominate).
nominee (n.) Look up nominee at
1660s, "person named for something; see nominate + -ee. Sense of "person named as a candidate" is attested from 1680s.
nomothetic (adj.) Look up nomothetic at
"lawgiving, legislative; based on law," 1650s, from Greek nomothetikos "relating to legislation, legislative," from nomothetes "lawgiving," from nomos "usage, custom, law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take") + thetes "one who puts, places, or establishes." Related: Nomothetical (1610s.)
non compos mentis Look up non compos mentis at
Latin, "not master of one's mind."
non sequitur Look up non sequitur at
Latin, "it does not follow."
non- Look up non- at
prefix meaning "not, lack of," or "sham," 14c., from Anglo-French noun-, from Old French non-, from Latin non "not, by no means, not at all, not a," from Old Latin noenum "not one" (*ne oinom, from PIE root *ne- "not" + PIE root *oi-no- "one, unique"). In some cases perhaps from Middle English non "not" (adj.), from Old English nan (see not).
non-aggression (n.) Look up non-aggression at
also nonaggression, 1759, "absence of warlike intentions among nations," from non- + aggression.
non-aligned (adj.) Look up non-aligned at
also nonaligned, 1960 in geopolitical sense, from non- + past participle of align. Non-alignment (also nonalignment) in this sense is attested from 1934.
non-com Look up non-com at
1747, short for non-commissioned officer.
non-combatant (n.) Look up non-combatant at
also noncombatant, 1809, from non- + combatant. A word from the Napoleonic wars.
non-combustible (adj.) Look up non-combustible at
also noncombustible, 1804, from non- + combustible.
non-committal (adj.) Look up non-committal at
also noncommittal, 1829, "characterized by refusal to commit oneself," from non- + committal (adj.), for which see commit.
non-compliance (n.) Look up non-compliance at
also noncompliance, 1680s, from non- + compliance. Related: Noncompliant.
non-conforming (adj.) Look up non-conforming at
also nonconforming, 1640s, from non- + conforming (see conform). Originally with reference to churches; see non-conformist.
non-conformist (n.) Look up non-conformist at
also nonconformist, 1610s, originally one who adhered to Church of England doctrine but not its practice, from non- + conformist. After their ejection under the Act of Uniformity (1662) the name passed to the separate churches they joined or formed. In general use from 1670s as "one who does not participate in a practice or course of action." As an adjective from 1640s.
non-conformity (n.) Look up non-conformity at
also nonconformity, 1610s, coined in English from non- + conformity. Originally of Church of England clergymen who refused to conform on certain ceremonies (see non-conformist).
non-consensual (adj.) Look up non-consensual at
also nonconsensual, by 1945 in legalese, from non- + consensual (q.v.). Used since 1960s by sociologists and in political science; used by 1977 in legal discussions and definitions of rape and other sex crimes and popularized in this sense from c. 1995. An earlier adjective was non-consenting (1670s), which was used of persons, not acts.
non-denominational (adj.) Look up non-denominational at
also nondenominational, 1893, from non- + denominational.
non-disjunction (n.) Look up non-disjunction at
also nondisjunction, 1913, from non- + disjunction. Related: Non-disjunctional.
non-entity (n.) Look up non-entity at
also nonentity, c. 1600, "something which does not exist," from non- + entity. Meaning "a person or thing of no importance" is attested from 1710.
non-essential (adj.) Look up non-essential at
also nonessential, 1717, from non- + essential (adj.). Attested as a noun from 1806.
non-Euclidean Look up non-Euclidean at
1874, from non- + Euclidean.
non-event (n.) Look up non-event at
"unimportant or disappointing event," 1962, from non- + event.
non-exclusive (adj.) Look up non-exclusive at
also nonexclusive, 1836, from non- + exclusive. Related: nonexclusively; nonexclusiveness.
non-existence (n.) Look up non-existence at
1640s; see non- + existence.
non-existent Look up non-existent at
also nonexistent, 1650s (n.), 1680s (adj.), from non- + existent.
non-fat (adj.) Look up non-fat at
also nonfat, 1945, from non- + fat.
non-fiction (adj.) Look up non-fiction at
also nonfiction, 1866, a librarians' word, first in the reports of the Boston Public Library, from non- + fiction. Apparently not in widespread use until after 1900.
non-intervention (n.) Look up non-intervention at
1831, from non- + intervention.
non-invasive (adj.) Look up non-invasive at
also noninvasive, by 1850, from non- + invasive.
non-judgmental (adj.) Look up non-judgmental at
also nonjudgmental, 1965, from non- + judgmental.