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[non-met-l] /nɒnˈmɛt l/
noun, Chemistry
an element not having the character of a metal, as carbon or nitrogen.
an element incapable of forming simple positive ions in solution.
1865-70; non- + metal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nonmetals
  • Elements can generally be described as either metals or nonmetals.
  • It can be used to detect both metals and nonmetals in air.
  • Graphite has properties of both metals and nonmetals, which makes it suitable for many industrial applications.
British Dictionary definitions for nonmetals


any of a number of chemical elements that form negative ions, have acidic oxides, and are generally poor conductors of heat and electricity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for nonmetals


substance that does not exhibit such characteristic properties of metals as hardness, mechanical adaptability, or the ability to conduct electricity. This classification is generally applied to the chemical elements carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen, sulfur, selenium, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and the noble-gas elements. These elements have few physical properties in common; most are gases, one (bromine) is liquid, and others are solids

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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