Reading articles I came across the word non-determinism written in different ways (non-determinism and nondeterminism). I was wondering if there is a difference, or if one is incorrect? May be one is from the UK and the other from the UK?

More generally what is the "rule" for the "non-" composed words?


1 Answer 1


"Non-" words are almost always composed without a hyphen. The exception is when the word to which this prefix is added is a proper noun, as with "non-Hispanic."

There is a list of "non-" words in the Merriam-Webster entry:


  • 1
    Wiktionary has: << The prefix non- may be joined to a word by means of a hyphen, which is standard in British usage. In many cases, especially in American usage, non- is joined without a hyphen. >> Thus AHDEL gives nonagression whereas CDO gives non-aggression. The UK Government speaks of non-agricultural land. BT has 'Non-Automated Payment Methods'. Neither the solid nor the hyphenated forms can usually be called incorrect; the best option is to check in a dictionary (or several). Jun 24, 2015 at 14:47
  • @EdwinAshworth Good addition with the British usage!
    – nomad
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:51
  • All those hyphens being thrown out of the plane half way to New York.... Jun 24, 2015 at 14:54

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