In terminology, non-living thing, as compared to a living thing, is an obsolete defunct religio-mythology based term referring to a thing previous thought to be not-alive (or non-living) as the property of "life" does not exist, e.g. see: life does not exist or defunct theory of life, neither does its antonym.
In 330BC, Aristotle, supposedly, situate the view that a non-living thing, as compared to a living thing, is a thing that does not have a soul. 
In the 1930s, the virus debate erupted, during which time, and after, people could not figure out whether a virus was a living thing or a non-living thing, being that it is a crystal of sorts that has the ability to reproduce in plants and animals; some in modern times confusedly state that a virus is “on the borderline between living and non-living things” (Ѻ); that a “virus is a non-living thing outside of a living cell, but a living thing when it is inside of the cell.” (Ѻ)
1. Perl, Eric. (2014). Thinking Being: Introduction to Metaphysics in the Classical Tradition (pg. 98). BRILL.