Definition of nonmetals

1) Nonmetals are a category of chemical elements characterized by their tendency to gain electrons, forming anions or sharing electrons through covalent bonding. Generally, nonmetals have high electronegativity, ionization energies, and electron affinities. They are typically poor conductors of heat and electricity, and exhibit various states of matter at room temperature, including gases, liquids, and brittle solids.

Nonmetals are located on the right side of the periodic table, with the exception of hydrogen. Examples include oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), carbon (C), and sulfur (S).

Related terms: chemical elements, electronegativity, ionization energy, electron affinity, anions, covalent bonding, periodic table, metalloids, metals.

source: References: OpenStax, Chemistry 2e. OpenStax CNX. Brown, T. L., LeMay, H. E., Bursten, B. E., Murphy, C. J., & Woodward, P. (2017). Chemistry: The Central Science. Pearson.