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See also: non-standard


Alternative forms[edit]


non- +‎ standard


nonstandard (comparative more nonstandard, superlative most nonstandard)

  1. Not standard.
    Synonym: unstandard
    Antonym: standard
  2. (linguistics) Not conforming to the standard variety, or to the language as used by the majority of its speakers.
    Synonym: substandard
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, chapter 9, in Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 486:
      The resulting sequence of covert wh-pronoun + Complementiser has an overt counterpart in nonstandard varieties of English, as the following example (recorded from a BBC radio programme) illustrates:
      (91)      England put themselves in a position [whereby that they took a lot of credit for tonightʼs game] (Ron Greenwood, BBC radio 4)

Usage notes[edit]

  • The hyphenated form is about twice as common as the solid form in the British corpus while the solid form is about twice as common as the hyphenated form in the American corpus of Google Ngram Viewer.[1] GPO manual item 6.29. recommends to spell non- prefixed words without a hyphen unless an overriding consideration applies.[2]

Derived terms[edit]



nonstandard (plural nonstandards)

  1. Something that is not standard.
    • 2008, Robert Cowart, Brian Knittel, Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista, page 438:
      Unlike the TV standard we are all accustomed to, the Web is the wild, wild West of video nonstandards.


  1. ^ nonstandard, non-standard at Google Ngram Viewer
  2. ^ 6. Compounding Rules in U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual,

Further reading[edit]