Science, Tech, Math › Science Nonbonding Electron Definition Share Flipboard Email Print A nonbonding electron does not participate in a reaction. Science Photo Library - MEHAU KULYK, Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated July 08, 2019 A nonbonding electron is an electron in an atom that does not participate in bonding with other atoms. The term can refer to either a lone pair in which the electron is localized and associated with one atom or to a non-bonding orbital in which the electron is delocalized throughout a molecule. Nonbonding Electron Example The 1s orbital electrons of a lithium atom are nonbonding electrons. Bonds are formed with the 2s electron.