non·​bi·​na·​ry | \ ?n?n-?bī-n?-rē How to pronounce nonbinary (audio) , -?ner-ē, -?ne-rē \

Definition of nonbinary

: not binary: such as
a : not restricted to two things or parts nonbinary voting
b : of, relating to, or being a system of numbers that does not use 2 as its base nonbinary math
c : relating to or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that is neither entirely male nor entirely female … an effort to create more equality for nonbinary and transgender students across campus.— Phoebe Roe … many people with nonbinary genders use "they" and "their" pronouns …— Lucy Brisbane

Examples of nonbinary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two industry trade groups, Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association, shared guidance for airlines earlier this year for nonbinary airline passengers. Curtis Tate, USA TODAY, "EasyJet ditches 'ladies and gentlemen' phrase, joins other airlines in becoming more inclusive," 26 Dec. 2019 But now, Estés’s premise feels in tension with feminism itself — or at least the part of it that seeks to raze the binary, clear space for trans and nonbinary experiences and cast gender as a performance merely masquerading as a natural event. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "The Wild Woman Awakens," 17 Dec. 2019 Most of McGowan’s workdays are spent at the Ruby, a workspace in the Mission District for women and nonbinary creative professionals., "Sex ed, tech and embroidery: How one SF writer stitches together a living," 11 Dec. 2019 Western writers sought out this nonbinary space, too. Kyle Chayka, Harper's magazine, "Being in Nothingness," 25 Nov. 2019 But women, nonbinary individuals, and people of color all were more likely to report that unprofessional reviews increased feelings of self-doubt and harmed their scientific productivity. Christie Wilcox, Science | AAAS, "Rude paper reviews are pervasive and sometimes harmful, study finds," 12 Dec. 2019 Nick Adams, director of transgender representation for the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, said Merriam-Webster's choice is a positive step in acknowledging nonbinary people. CBS News, "Merriam-Webster unveils its 2019 word of the year: "They"," 10 Dec. 2019 Driver’s licenses and ID cards are particularly important to individuals who are nonbinary, as they are used frequently — not only for driving, but also for identification in banking, housing and employment. Pamela Wood,, "Maryland voter registration to allow for 'X' gender identity," 5 July 2019 In March, the singer Sam Smith came out as nonbinary and cited a string of other celebrities whose visible examples had allowed Smith to envision a narrative for themself. Alex Marzano-lesnevich, Harper's magazine, "Body Language," 25 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonbinary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonbinary

1863, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nonbinary was in 1863

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nonbinary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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