If a fireman came to work in a police outfit or clown suit, that would be a clear case of nonconformity. Where there’s nonconformity, there’s difference.

When everyone is acting or dressing exactly the same, there’s conformity, not nonconformity. Nonconformity means that someone is doing things differently from the norm. People in authority tend to dislike nonconformity, because it makes people harder to control. Someone who demonstrates nonconformity most of the time is a nonconformist. Too much nonconformity can create chaos, but without a little nonconformity, life would be pretty boring.

Definitions of nonconformity
  1. noun

    failure to conform to accepted standards of behavior

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    abidance, compliance, conformation, conformity

    acting according to certain accepted standards


    a lack of conformity with law or custom or practice etc.
    type of:


    an act that fails

  2. noun

    a lack of orthodoxy in thoughts or beliefs

    nonconformance, nonconformism
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    conformism, conformity

    orthodoxy in thoughts and belief
    type of:

    heresy, heterodoxy, unorthodoxy

    any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position

  3. noun

    unorthodoxy as a consequence of not conforming to expected standards or values

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    type of:

    heterodoxy, unorthodoxy

    the quality of being unorthodox

  4. noun

    lack of harmony or correspondence

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    type of:


    the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing

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