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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Nones \Nones\, n. pl. [L. nonae, so called because it was the ninth day before the ides, fr. nonus ninth, from novem nine. See Nine, Nones, 2, Noon .]

  1. (Roman Calendar) The fifth day of the months January, February, April, June, August, September, November, and December, and the seventh day of March, May, July, and October. The nones were nine days before the ides, reckoning inclusively, according to the Roman method.

  2. [F. none, fr. L. See Noon.] The canonical office, being a part of the Breviary, recited at noon (formerly at the ninth hour, 3 p. m.) in the Roman Catholic Church.

  3. The hour of dinner; the noonday meal. [Obs.]

    At my supper and sometimes at nones.
    --P. Plowman.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., in reference to the Roman calendar, "ninth day (by inclusive reckoning) before the ides of each month" (7th of March, May, July, October, 5th of other months), from Latin nonæ (accusative nonas), fem. plural of nonus "ninth." Ecclesiastical sense of "daily office said originally at the ninth hour of the day" is from 1709; originally fixed at ninth hour from sunrise, hence about 3 p.m. (now usually somewhat earlier), from Latin nona (hora) "ninth (hour)," from fem. plural of nonus "ninth," contracted from *novenos, from novem "nine" (see nine). Also used in a sense of "midday" (see noon).


n. 1 In the the eighth day ('''ninth''' counting inclusively) before the ides of a month. 2 Midday, or the meal eaten at midday. 3 The liturgy said at midday. 4 Those without a religious affiliation.


n. the fifth of the seven canonical hours; about 3 p.m.

Nones (Auden)

Nones is a book of poems by W. H. Auden published in 1951 by Faber & Faber. The book contains Auden's shorter poems written between 1946 and 1950, including " In Praise of Limestone", "Prime", "Nones," "Memorial for the City", "Precious Five", and "A Walk After Dark".

"Nones" is a contemporary setting of the Good Friday Passion.

The book includes "Barcarolle" ( barcarolle), a poem from Auden's libretto for Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the only poem in the book that did not appear in Auden's later collections. The book is dedicated to Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and his wife Ursula.

Composer Luciano Berio named his orchestral piece Nones, originally planned as an oratorio, after Auden's poem.

Nones (Berio)

Nones (1954) is a composition by Luciano Berio scored for orchestra. The piece is named for the poem, " Nones", by W. H. Auden, and was originally intended to be an oratorio, inspired by the poem, representing not only the Passion of Christ, but also the agony of modern man. The purely instrumental piece is predominantly punctual in texture and formally consists of an approximate arch created by "theme" and variations. The tone row used was nontraditional in construction in several respects including number of pitches and consistent emphasis on intervals of major and minor thirds. A note in Berio's sketches confirms that he consciously derived it from the trichordal cell of Webern's Concerto, op. 24, which it strongly resembles. Its combination of major and minor thirds is also prevalent in Stravinsky, who had been a strong influence on Berio up to this time.

Berio's row is symmetrical around the central A, and each trichordal segment of the hexachords flanking that central note contains both the minor and major third. The row in fact includes four of the six possible permutations of this core trichord, guaranteeing a permanent atonal equilibrium.


Nones is a term sometimes used to refer to those who are unaffiliated with any organized religion. This use derives from surveys of religious affiliation, in which "None" (or "None of the above") is typically the last choice. Since this status refers to lack of organizational affiliation rather than lack of personal belief, it is a more specific concept than irreligion. Polls show that in the United States, "nones" are the only "religious" group that is growing as a percentage of the population.

It may also refer to:

  • Nones (calendar), or Nonae, days of the Roman Calendar
  • Nones (Auden), a book of poems
  • Nones (Berio), an orchestral composition
  • Nones dialect, spoken in northern Italy
  • None (liturgy), the ninth hour of the traditional Christian liturgy

Usage examples of "nones".

At least the elections would go ahead now, with the tribunes of the plebs set for the day before the Nones and the quaestors on the Nones, the day they were supposed to enter office.