also non-conformist, "one who does not conform to some law or usage," 1610s, originally and especially of clergymen who adhered to Church of England doctrine but not its practice, from non- + conformist. After their ejection under the Act of Uniformity (1662) the name passed to the separate churches they joined or formed. In general use from 1670s as "one who does not participate in a practice or course of action." As an adjective from 1640s. Shortened form non-con is attested from 1680s.
updated on July 08, 2019