Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence.
  • n. A statement that does not follow logically from what preceded it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any abrupt and inexplicable transition or occurrence.
  • n. Any invalid argument in which the conclusion cannot be logically deduced from the premises; a logical fallacy.
  • n. A statement that does not logically follow a statement that came before it.
  • n. A kind of pun that uses a change of word, subject, or meaning to make a joke of the listener’s expectation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • An inference which does not follow from the premises.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law or logic, an inference or a conclusion which does not follow from the premises.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a reply that has no relevance to what preceded it
  • n. (logic) a conclusion that does not follow from the premises

Etymologies

Latin nōn sequitur, it does not follow : nōn, not + sequitur, third person sing. present tense of sequī, to follow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin phrase nōn sequitur ("it does not follow"), from nōn ("not") + sequitur (third-person form of sequor ("I follow")); in Latin, the phrase sees no use as a noun. Compare sequence, from same root. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That was such a complete non sequitur that Keisha could only look stupidly at her.

    Elephant in the City

  • This pertains to the spurious allegations Duane Lindenaur made against me and the non sequitur of my happening to be in a cocktail lounge frequented by certain not respectable people when a police raid occurred.

    The Big Nowhere

  • I smiled vacuously at this non sequitur and held out my hand again for the key.

    A Letter of Mary

  • * 'Cum Clericus sic de crimine convictus degradetur, non sequitur aliapoe-na pro uno delicto, vel pluribus ante degradationem perpetratis.

    Memoir Correspondence And Miscellanies

Comments

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  • Fewer tentacles, no doubt.

    November 21, 2010

  • Cuter, though, I'd wager.

    November 21, 2010

  • It sounds like your latest spawn is an acolyte of Cthulhu, cb!

    November 21, 2010

  • I gather, then, that he hasn't quite mastered "non-sequitur" just yet.

    November 21, 2010

  • It sounds like this: blrbth thrbl? Nmi-nmi-nm.

    November 19, 2010

  • *Now wonders what Chained Cub's vocabulary might sound like*

    November 19, 2010

  • @chained_bear: When young, I would always pronounce it "non se-KEE-ter"...

    November 19, 2010

  • he is hyper-verbal, spewing non sequiturs

    October 6, 2010

  • One of the best things to hear a little tiny kid say. You know, when you can get them to play "repeat after me."

    October 28, 2008

  • Latin for "it does not follow."

    October 4, 2008