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definitions
  • synonyms

naught

or nought

[nawt]
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noun
  1. nothing.
  2. a cipher (0); zero.
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adjective
  1. lost; ruined.
  2. Archaic. worthless; useless.
  3. Obsolete. morally bad; wicked.
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adverb
  1. Obsolete. not.
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Idioms
  1. come to naught, to come to nothing; be without result or fruition; fail.
  2. set at naught, to regard or treat as of no importance; disdain: He entered a milieu that set his ideals at naught.
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Origin of naught

before 900; Middle English; Old English nauht, nāwiht ( no1 + wiht thing). See nought, wight1, whit
Can be confusednaught nought
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for naught

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • So it seemed that they had naught to fear, save the daily chance of life and death.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Of that performance let naught be spoken, save in reverence.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • I mind the time when her yellow arms were naught but bone and parchment.

  • They, having eaten, had naught to do, and were only waiting a decent hour for departure.

  • This time he thought he was dead himself; he was naught but an empty sepulchre.


British Dictionary definitions for naught

naught

noun
  1. archaic, or literary nothing or nothingness; ruin or failure
  2. a variant spelling (esp US) of nought
  3. set at naught to have disregard or scorn for; disdain
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adverb
  1. archaic, or literary not at allit matters naught
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adjective
  1. obsolete worthless, ruined, or wicked
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Word Origin

Old English nāwiht, from no 1 + wiht thing, person; see wight 1, whit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for naught

n.

Old English nawiht "nothing," lit "no whit," from na "no" (from PIE root *ne- "no, not;" see un- (1)) + wiht "thing, creature, being" (see wight). Cognate with Old Saxon neowiht "nothing," Old High German niwiht, Gothic ni waihts. It also developed an adjectival sense in Old English, "good for nothing," which by mid-16c. had focused to "morally bad, wicked." In arithmetic, "the figure zero" from 1640s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with naught

naught

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.