One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Cards.(a) A contract in some varieties of bridge and in certain other card games, in which the object is to win no tricks or to prevent the contract from being made. (b) In some varieties of contract bridge: each of the tricks beyond a total of six which a bidder can undertake to lose, when play is conducted in no trumps. Also in plural: (play in) no trumps when such a contract has been made.
Late 16th century (in an earlier sense). From Italian † nullo (noun) nobody, no-one or nullo (adjective) not valid, characterized by nullity.
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