- no thing; not anything; naught: to say nothing.
- no part, share, or trace (usually followed by of): The house showed nothing of its former magnificence.
- something that is nonexistent.
- nonexistence; nothingness: The sound faded to nothing.
- something or someone of no importance or significance: Money is nothing when you're without health.
- a trivial action, matter, circumstance, thing, or remark: to exchange a few nothings when being introduced.
- a person of little or no importance; a nobody.
- something that is without quantity or magnitude.
- a cipher or naught: Nothing from nine leaves nine.
- (used in conventional responses to expressions of thanks): Think nothing of it. It's nothing. Nothing to it.
- in no respect or degree; not at all: It was nothing like that. Nothing dismayed, he repeated his question.
- amounting to nothing, as in offering no prospects for satisfaction, advancement, or the like: She was stuck in a nothing job.
- for nothing,
- free of charge.
- for no apparent reason or motive.
- futilely; to no avail: They had gone to a great deal of expense for nothing.
- in nothing flat, in very little time: Dinner was finished in nothing flat.
- make nothing of,
- to treat lightly; regard as easy.
- to be unsuccessful in comprehending: He could make nothing of the complicated directions.
- nothing but, nothing other than; only: We could see nothing but fog.
- nothing doing,
- Informal.emphatically no; certainly not.
- no activity, inducement, advantage, etc., present to the eye: We drove through the town but there seemed to be nothing doing.
- nothing less than/short of, absolutely; completely: She was used to nothing less than the best.
- think nothing of,
- to treat casually.
- to regard as insignificant: He thinks nothing of lying to conceal his incompetence.
Origin of nothing
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (indefinite) no thing; not anything, as of an implied or specified class of thingsI can give you nothing
- no part or shareto have nothing to do with this crime
- a matter of no importance or significanceit doesn't matter, it's nothing
- indicating the absence of anything perceptible; nothingness
- indicating the absence of meaning, value, worth, etcto amount to nothing
- zero quantity; nought
- be nothing to
- not to concern or be significant to (someone)
- to be not nearly as good as
- have nothing to do with or be nothing to do with to have no connection with
- have nothing on or have got nothing on
- to have no engagements to keep
- to be undressed or naked
- informalto compare unfavourably with
- in nothing flat informal in almost no time; very quickly or soon
- nothing but not something other than; only
- nothing doing informal an expression of dismissal, disapproval, lack of compliance with a request, etc
- nothing if not at the very least; certainly
- nothing less than or nothing short of downright; truly
- there's nothing for it there's no choice; there's no other course
- there's nothing like a general expression of praisethere's nothing like a good cup of tea
- there's nothing to it it is very simple, easy, etc
- think nothing of
- to regard as routine, easy, or natural
- to have no compunction or hesitation about
- to have a very low opinion of
- to say nothing of as well as; even disregardinghe was warmly dressed in a shirt and heavy jumper, to say nothing of his thick overcoat
- stop at nothing to be prepared to do anything; be unscrupulous or ruthless
- in no way; not at allhe looked nothing like his brother
- informal a person or thing of no importance or significance
- sweet nothings words of endearment or affection
Old English nāthing, nān thing, from nān none 1 + thing 1
Nothing normally takes a singular verb, but when nothing but is followed by a plural form of a noun, a plural verb is usually used: it was a large room where nothing but souvenirs were sold
Word Origin and History for nothing doing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with nothing doing
Certainly not, as in Can I borrow your down coat?—Nothing doing. This colloquial interjection was first recorded in 1910. Also see, no dice.
In addition to the idioms beginning with nothing
- nothing but
- nothing doing
- nothing if not
- nothing like
- nothing new under the sun
- nothing of the kind
- nothing short of
- nothing to do with
- nothing to it, there's
- nothing to sneeze at
- nothing to speak of
- nothing to write home about
- nothing ventured, nothing gained
- come to nothing
- count for (nothing)
- go for nothing
- have nothing on
- have nothing to do with
- here goes (nothing)
- in no time (nothing flat)
- leave a lot (nothing) to be desired
- make nothing of
- make something of (nothing)
- much ado about nothing
- not know beans (from nothing)
- not to mention (say nothing of)
- stop at nothing
- sweet nothings
- think nothing of
- want for nothing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.