non- +‎ person


  • IPA(key): /ˈnɒnpɜː(ɹ)sən/


nonperson (plural nonpersons or nonpeople)

  1. Not a real person; a subhuman.
    • 1989, Michael C. Kearl, Endings: A Sociology of Death and Dying, page 146
      As all lives must end, do you prefer to die as a nonperson, forgotten in a nursing home and totally stripped of dignity and independence?
    • 1994, Lisa J. McIntyre, Law in the Sociological Enterprise, page 92
      Arguably, what is so hateful about a hate crime is that it is an attempt by some individual or group to treat a Person as a Nonperson.
    • 1998, John E. Tropman, Does America Hate the Poor?, page 6
      How does hate work? [...] One answer is that the poor person (or the Jew, or the Asian, or the Native American, or whoever) becomes, intellectually, linguistically, and emotionally, a "lessperson," and then a nonperson.
  2. Not a legal entity.
  3. Something other than a person; an object.
    • 1995, Roger K. R. Thompson, Natural and Relational Concepts in Animals, in Comparative Approaches to Cognitive Science, page 179
      Taken together, all the results suggested that discrimination of person from nonperson slides was not controlled by an obvious single stimulus feature.
    • 2001, Eric T. Olson, A Compound of Two Substances, in Soul, Body, and Survival, page 77
      No nonperson is psychologically indistinguishable from you.
    • 2002, Ritva Laury, Interaction, grounding, and third-person referential forms, in Grounding: The Epistemic Footing of Deixis and Reference (Frank Brisard, ed.), page 85
      For example, Benveniste [...] discusses the connection of first- and second-person pronouns with the speech situation, and even goes as far as to claim that the third person is a nonperson, since the referents of third-person pronouns are not speech-act participants.