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aught1

or ought

[awt]
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noun
  1. anything whatever; any part: for aught I know.
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adverb
  1. Archaic. in any degree; at all; in any respect.
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Origin of aught1

before 1000; Middle English aught, ought, Old English āht, āwiht, ōwiht, equivalent to ā, ō ever + wiht thing, wight1

aught2

or ought

[awt]
noun
  1. a cipher (0); zero.
  2. aughts, the first decade of any century, especially the years 1900 through 1909 or 2000 through 2009.
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Origin of aught2

a naught, taken as an aught (cf. auger). See naught

aught3

[awkht]
verb (used with object) Scot.
  1. to own; possess.
  2. to owe (someone or something); be obligated to.
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adjective
  1. possessed of.
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noun
  1. Archaic.
    1. ownership; possession.
    2. property; a possession.
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Origin of aught3

before 1000; Middle English; Old English æht; cognate with Old High German ēht, Gothic aihts; akin to owe, own

aught4

[awkht]
adjective Scot.
  1. eight.
  2. eighth.
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Origin of aught4

Middle English aghte, aughte, variant of eighte; see eight
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

zerocipherzilchanything

Examples from the Web for aught

Historical Examples

  • But, oh, these wild words of thine are worse to mine ears than aught which you could say of me.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • For aught he knew, she might already have escaped or be married to Peter Brome.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • I may rue my opposition as long as I live, for aught she knows.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • She asked her if she had aught to complain of in her situation.

  • Hereupon, Mr. Godfrey asked if there was aught evil in the book.


British Dictionary definitions for aught

aught1

ought used with a negative or in conditional or interrogative sentences or clauses

archaic, or literary
pronoun
  1. anything at all; anything whatever (esp in the phrase for aught I know)
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adverb
  1. dialect in any least part; to any degree
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Word Origin

Old English āwiht, from ā ever, ay 1 + wiht thing; see wight 1

aught2

ought

noun
  1. a less common word for nought
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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 aught

n.1

"something," Old English awiht "aught, anything, something," literally "e'er a whit," from Proto-Germanic *aiwi "ever" (from PIE *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity;" see eon) + *wihti "thing, anything whatever" (see wight). In Shakespeare, Milton and Pope, aught and ought occur indiscriminately.

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n.2

"nothing, zero," faulty separation of a naught (see naught; cf. also adder for the separation problem).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper