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1. Varying from or not adhering to the standard: nonstandard lengths of board.
2. Linguistics Associated with a language variety used by uneducated speakers or socially disfavored groups.
Usage Note: The term nonstandard was introduced by linguists and lexicographers to describe usages and language varieties that had previously been labeled with terms such as vulgar and illiterate. Nonstandard is not a euphemism but reflects the empirical discovery that the varieties used by low-prestige groups have rich and systematic grammatical structures and that their stigmatization more often reflects a judgment about their speakers rather than any inherent deficiencies in logic or expressive power. Note that the use of nonstandard forms is not necessarily restricted to the communities with which they are associated in the public mind. Many educated speakers freely use forms such as can't hardly or ain't I to set a popular or informal tone. · Some dictionaries use the term substandard to describe forms, such as ain't, associated with uneducated speech, while reserving nonstandard for forms such as irregardless, which are common in writing but are still regarded by many as uneducated. But substandard is often viewed as needlessly or unfairly judgmental, and most linguists and lexicographers now use only nonstandard.


1. (Linguistics) denoting or characterized by idiom, vocabulary, etc, that is not regarded as correct and acceptable by educated native speakers of a language; not standard
2. deviating from a given standard


(ˈnɒnˈstæn dərd)

1. not standard.
2. not conforming in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, etc., to the usage characteristic of and considered acceptable by most educated native speakers. Compare standard (def. 25).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.nonstandard - not conforming to the language usage of a prestige group within a community; "a nonstandard dialect is one used by uneducated speakers or socially disfavored groups"; "the common core of nonstandard words and phrases in folk speech"- A.R.Dunlap
linguistics - the scientific study of language
received, standard - conforming to the established language usage of educated native speakers; "standard English" (American); "received standard English is sometimes called the King's English" (British)
2.nonstandard - varying from or not adhering to a standard; "nonstandard windows"; "envelopes of nonstandard sizes"; "nonstandard lengths of board"
standard - conforming to or constituting a standard of measurement or value; or of the usual or regularized or accepted kind; "windows of standard width"; "standard sizes"; "the standard fixtures"; "standard brands"; "standard operating procedure"
3.nonstandard - not standard; not accepted as a model of excellence; "a nonstandard text"
standard - established or well-known or widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence; "a standard reference work"; "the classical argument between free trade and protectionism"
References in periodicals archive ?
The result is that some tree representation of a logical form assigned to a sentence as a display of its assigned content is a shorthand display of convenience to be construed, nonstandardly, as picking out a family of trees.
A1) is acceptable, then, only if "belief" is being used in the standard sense (which covers both types of beliefs); it is not acceptable if "belief" is being used nonstandardly (to cover only occurrent beliefs).