Share this entry

non-metal Line breaks: non-metal
Pronunciation: /ˌnɒnˈmɛt(ə)l/

Definition of non-metal in English:


An element or substance that is not a metal.
Example sentences
  • Chemically, elements can be classified as metals, metalloids, or non-metals based, in part, upon these physical properties.
  • Ionic bonds are most often formed between atoms of metals and atoms of non-metals.
  • As a rough rule of thumb, metals are non-molecular, like iron, whereas non-metals are molecular.



Pronunciation: /ˌnɒnmɪˈtalɪk/
Example sentences
  • Reactions of non-metallic elements to form covalent compounds are atom transfer reactions.
  • The term is also sometimes used for compounds in which a nitrogen or other non-metallic atom of an organic group is directly bonded to a lithium atom.
  • Carbon is by no means unique in this regard as most of the non-metallic elements are capable of forming chains.

Definition of non-metal in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful