I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct?

I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.

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    I prefer one with hyphen. – Andy Semyonov Apr 2 '15 at 13:23
  • Who on earth upvotes such obviously inappropriate (for ELU) questions? – Edwin Ashworth Apr 2 '15 at 13:32
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    This is not a duplicate. The other question refers to the general rule of "non" to which the answer was "one treats this on a case by case basis." This question is such a case. Please re-open. – Robino Aug 18 '16 at 9:10
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    @EdwinAshworth Care to share why it is inappropriate? The reason people can't see who votes is to protect the community against people who disagree with them from insulting them directly, as you are trying to do. – Robino Aug 18 '16 at 9:14
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    ... As @tchrist has written, 'The tooltips on the up- and down-vote arrows on questions explicitly mention research effort. So that seems an officially endorsed (possible) reason for voting in either direction. Given that particular criterion, next to no [questions of certain types] ever show any research effort, and therefore merit downvotes based on that alone.' – Edwin Ashworth Aug 18 '16 at 11:22

For AmE, you should go to the best N. American dictionary, and use the version there:




: not having existence

Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary




thus there's a heavy use of both, but I'd follow the M-W U.


BrE: Non-existent used to be British spelling, but a couple of years back they did away with the hyphens of 16,000 hyphenated words.

AmE: the answer above is the valid answer, just one word: nonexistent The American Heritage Dictionary 5th Ed. confirms this.

So it appears the Standard Usage in both side of the Atlantic is one unhyphenated word.

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