Definition of naught in English:



  • Nothing.

    ‘he's naught but a worthless fool’
    • ‘But these were naught but the idle dreams of a fanciful girl.’
    • ‘I found that my benevolent intentions, not to mention my philanthropic soul were all for naught.’
    • ‘‘I seek naught but to rule alongside my mother over this land,’ Rene said simply.’
    • ‘He's sailing as we speak, he just left the harbor naught but an hour ago.’
    • ‘Yet, tragically, the effort seems to have been for naught.’
    • ‘As Lucretius has stated, naught from naught can be created.’
    • ‘And Unless we keep this planet healthy, everything else is for naught.’
    • ‘‘He is my little brother, he is naught but seven years old,’ Katrina spoke up as she rose from her chair.’
    • ‘Against our resolve, their millions shall count for naught.’
    • ‘When naught remained of the wound but the scar, the flow of light to the wound stopped, flowing about her hands, then vanished.’
    • ‘He has it by my leave, so there's naught to worry about.’
    • ‘There's naught to get my teeth into, naught to be telling me what they mean.’
    • ‘I think of political prisoners on hunger strikes around the world; my suffering is naught compared to theirs.’
    • ‘First, think of a person who lives in disguise, who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.’
    • ‘Sounds like you're really working it - make sure you get adequate rest, or all that work could be for naught.’
    • ‘Chris' expression betrayed naught but the purest innocence.’
    • ‘But suddenly, your preparation seems like it was all for naught.’
    • ‘So be sure that naught but truth lies upon these pages.’
    • ‘With naught but a tent for shelter, the traveler is in constant danger - both from bandits and the elements.’
    nothing, nothing at all, nought, nil, zero
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North American
  • variant spelling of nought
    • ‘Or maybe they forgot to put a extra naught on the end of the figure they offered.’
    • ‘Those naughts and ones are then what we call modulated, or carried if you like, as a passenger on a radio frequency signal.’
    • ‘Ryan was just hysterically laughing, asking how it was a twenty-one year old could lose to a five year old child in naughts and crosses.’
    • ‘From zero to naught, I cannot be free of this thought, inside my head,’
    • ‘In reciprocation, however, he got a big naught.’
    • ‘It is a series of numbers, hyphens, naughts, strokes, and zeds.’


  • bring to naught

    • archaic Ruin or foil.

      • ‘In 1989, courageous people brought to naught the Berlin Wall.’
      • ‘All of the divisions of Us, predicated upon the beast within, are brought to naught.’
      • ‘Such recommendations will only bring to naught efforts to increase cooperation and decrease politicization among States.’
      ruin, wreck, destroy, devastate, wreak havoc on, reduce to nothing, blight, smash, shatter, dash, torpedo, scotch, make a mess of, mess up
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  • come to naught

    • archaic Be ruined or foiled.

      ‘his hopes of becoming commissioner have come to naught’
      • ‘I believe all this arguing and toing and froing will come to naught in the end.’
      • ‘All the extravagant statements come to naught.’
      • ‘Hopes were then pinned on the disciplinary investigation of 20 senior officials - which has come to naught.’
      • ‘Everything he tries with the boy comes to naught!’
      • ‘Many years of work and negotiations came to naught.’
      • ‘My attempts to raise money in France and Germany have come to naught.’
      • ‘Attempts so far to forge a compromise have come to naught, leaving the upcoming session disturbingly unsettled.’
      • ‘He said unless the boxers worked on their fighting skills, the quest for effective competition and excellence on the international scene would come to naught.’
      • ‘Now it seems all their efforts have come to naught.’
      • ‘Yet all will come to naught without international political, administrative and financial support on an unprecedented scale.’
      fail, founder, be unsuccessful, not succeed, lack success, fall through, fall flat, break down, abort, miscarry, be defeated, suffer defeat, be in vain, be frustrated, collapse, misfire, backfire, not come up to scratch, meet with disaster, come to grief, come to nothing, miss the mark, run aground, go wrong, go awry, go astray
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  • set at naught

    • archaic Disregard or despise.

      ‘your efforts are set at naught by those beneath you’
      • ‘It is not easy to trace the motives of the reformers or their inheritors as they gradually set at naught large elements of symbol in worship.’
      • ‘In the other case the Court will not allow its process to be set at naught and treated with contempt.’
      • ‘The fact of the matter is that rising inflation is setting at naught the modest gains in take-home pay granted through tax reform and income rises.’
      • ‘In this way a party who is in breach of the contract will be able to set at naught an exclusive jurisdiction agreement which is the product of the free will of the parties.’
      • ‘It only helps to be able to lock people up without trial if you know who they are - if you don't, your strategy is set at naught.’
      defy, refuse to obey, go against, rebel against, scorn, disdain, show contempt for, fly in the face of, thumb one's nose at, make a fool of, poke fun at
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Old English nāwiht, -wuht, from nā ‘no’ + wiht ‘thing’ (see wight).