Something that's nonexistent doesn't really exist. When your cat hisses at her reflection in the mirror, she's attacking a nonexistent enemy.

The adjective nonexistent describes something that's not real. Your nonexistent problems are only in your imagination, for example, and you may pretend to answer a nonexistent phone call to avoid an awkward conversation with an acquaintance at the post office. The word existent is at the heart of nonexistent, with its root of existence. They all come from the Latin word exsistere, "to come into being, to appear, or to be."

Definitions of nonexistent
  1. adjective
    not having existence or being or actuality
    “chimeras are nonexistent
    (of e.g. volcanos) permanently inactive
    absent, lacking, missing, wanting
    barren, destitute, devoid, free, innocent
    completely wanting or lacking
    no longer existing or inaccessible through loss or destruction
    having passed out of existence
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    existent, existing
    having existence or being or actuality
    active, alive
    in operation
    still in existence; not extinct or destroyed or lost
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