From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: nonbinary


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A symbol for non-binary gender
Another symbol for non-binary gender:

Alternative forms[edit]


non- +‎ binary


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˌnɔnˈbaɪ.nɛɹˌi/, /ˌnɔnˈbaɪ.nɚˌi/
  • (file)


non-binary (not comparable)

  1. Not binary.
    • 1986, James O. Hicks, Information Systems in Business: An Introduction, page 201:
      Thus digital computers operate directly with digits either at the bit level, which is short for binary digit, or at the byte level where a nonbinary digit such as a decimal number or alphabetic character is represented.
    • 2002, Terry L. M. Bartelt, Digital Electronics: An Integrated Laboratory Approach, page 112:
      The most common type of encoder is one that converts a nonbinary number system into an equivalent binary system.
  2. Having or pertaining to a gender identity not represented by the gender binary; not exclusively male or female; genderqueer.
    • 2013, Kim Cook, “This thing called gender”, in Up Close and Personal, page 85:
      I'm expected to live in a world where [] forms have no or few options for non-binary people, where finding a GP who understands my non-binary needs and identity is a challenge.
    • 2017, Jo Green, The Trans Partner Handbook: A Guide for When Your Partner Transitions, →ISBN:
      [T]he most commonly used non-binary pronouns are the singular “they/their/theirs”.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The solid form is more than twice as common as the hyphenated one in the American corpus while the hyphenated one wins by factor 3 or more in the British corpus.[1] GPO manual item 6.29. recommends to spell non- prefixed words without a hyphen unless an overriding consideration applies.[2]




See also[edit]

  • (irrespective of the sex binary): unisex
  • (exceptions to the sex binary): intersex


non-binary (plural non-binaries)

  1. (computing) Something which is not a binary; a computer file that is not readable text.
    • 1994 June 7, "Zhar", Don't Post Non-Binaries In alt.binaries.doom,, Usnet:
      Please don't post non-binaries into alt.binaries.doom. Pretty please.
  2. (informal) A non-binary (genderqueer) person.
    Synonym: (abbreviation) NB

Usage notes[edit]

  • See the usage note at transgender regarding the use of words of this type as nouns.




  1. ^ [non - binary/nonbinary] at Google Ngram Viewer
  2. ^ 6. Compounding Rules in U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual,