Nonchalant – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

30.08.23 Definitions Time to read: 2min

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Many individuals seek out the definitions to improve communication, clarity and critical thinking. While some words are commonly used, the origins of others may not be well-known. As a result, people sometimes struggle to use certain English words, terms or phrases correctly. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the word “nonchalant”, including its proper spelling and historical roots.

Definition of “nonchalant”

The word “nonchalant” is an adjective used to describe a behaviour or a person who is casually calm and relaxed, especially in a way that suggests unconcern or indifference. It represents a lack of enthusiasm, excitement, or interest, often to the point of seeming disengagement or aloofness. Nonchalant can also indicate a kind of laid-back or carefree attitude, typically proposing a sense of ease or confidence. The word “nonchalant” originates from the French language.

Use of “nonchalant” in a sentence

The word “nonchalant” acts as an adjective in the English language. The following examples illustrate how to use the word in a sentence.


  • He gave a nonchalant shrug when asked about his exam results.
  • Despite the urgency of the situation, she remained nonchalant.
  • With a nonchalant wave, he dismissed the compliment.

How to spell “nonchalant” correctly

“Nonchalant” is often misspelled as “nonchalent” or “nonchallant”. The misspellings may happen due to the ambiguous pronunciation of the word or it not being part of everyday language. The French origin may also be the cause of this. However, the only correct way of spelling the word is “nonchalant” and consists of two main parts:

  • “non-” – is a prefix and means “not”
  • “-chalant” – comes from the Old French “chaloir”’ and means “to have concern for”

Correct spelling



Wrong spelling



Synonyms for “nonchalant”

Using synonyms for “nonchalant” in academic writing can be advantageous, as it allows for greater variation in word choice with similar meaning, thus improving the quality of expression. Below are a few synonyms for “nonchalant” with an example sentence:

Synonyms Examples
Apathetic Even after the team lost, he remained nonchalant.
Even after the team lost, he remained apathetic.
Indifferent He seemed nonchalant when hearing about his promotion.
He seemed indifferent when hearing about his promotion.
Unperturbed He remained nonchalant despite the chaos.
He remained unperturbed despite the chaos.


The word “nonchalant” is an adjective used to describe a person or behaviour that is casually calm and relaxed, often in a manner that suggests indifference or lack of concern.

“Nonchalant” can be used to describe both people and their actions.

  • He was nonchalant about the upcoming test.
  • With a nonchalant wave, she dismissed the compliment.

The word “nonchalant” comes from the French word of the same spelling, which means “indifferent.” The term is derived from Old French elements: “non-” meaning “not,” and “chaloir,” which means “to have concern for.” This essentially translates to “not having concern,” aligning with its current meaning in English.

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