Definition of naught in English:



  • Nothing.

    ‘he's naught but a worthless fool’
    • ‘And Unless we keep this planet healthy, everything else is 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.’
    • ‘As Lucretius has stated, naught from naught can be created.’
    • ‘There's naught to get my teeth into, naught to be telling me what they mean.’
    • ‘Yet, tragically, the effort seems to have been for naught.’
    • ‘‘I seek naught but to rule alongside my mother over this land,’ Rene said simply.’
    • ‘So be sure that naught but truth lies upon these pages.’
    • ‘But suddenly, your preparation seems like it was all for naught.’
    • ‘Against our resolve, their millions shall count for naught.’
    • ‘But these were naught but the idle dreams of a fanciful girl.’
    • ‘With naught but a tent for shelter, the traveler is in constant danger - both from bandits and the elements.’
    • ‘I think of political prisoners on hunger strikes around the world; my suffering is naught compared to theirs.’
    • ‘He's sailing as we speak, he just left the harbor naught but an hour ago.’
    • ‘I found that my benevolent intentions, not to mention my philanthropic soul were all for naught.’
    • ‘Chris' expression betrayed naught but the purest innocence.’
    • ‘Sounds like you're really working it - make sure you get adequate rest, or all that work could be for naught.’
    • ‘‘He is my little brother, he is naught but seven years old,’ Katrina spoke up as she rose from her chair.’
    • ‘First, think of a person who lives in disguise, who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.’
    nothing, nothing at all, nought, nil, zero
    zilch, sweet fanny adams, sweet fa, not a dicky bird, nix
    damn all, not a sausage
    zip, zippo, nada, diddly-squat, a goose egg
    bugger all, fuck all, sod all
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North American
  • The digit 0; zero.

    • ‘Or maybe they forgot to put a extra naught on the end of the figure they offered.’
    • ‘In reciprocation, however, he got a big naught.’
    • ‘From zero to naught, I cannot be free of this thought, inside my head,’
    • ‘It is a series of numbers, hyphens, naughts, strokes, and zeds.’
    • ‘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.’


  • bring to naught

    • archaic Ruin; foil.

      • ‘In 1989, courageous people brought to naught the Berlin Wall.’
      • ‘Such recommendations will only bring to naught efforts to increase cooperation and decrease politicization among States.’
      • ‘All of the divisions of Us, predicated upon the beast within, are brought to naught.’
      ruin, wreck, destroy, devastate, wreak havoc on, reduce to nothing, blight, smash, shatter, dash, torpedo, scotch, make a mess of, mess up
      sabotage, poison
      cancel out, neutralize, negate, render ineffective, make of no use or value
      louse up, screw up, foul up, put the kibosh on, banjax, do for, blow a hole in, nix, queer
      scupper, cock up, dish, muller
      euchre, cruel
      fuck up
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  • come to naught

    • archaic Be ruined or foiled.

      • ‘Now it seems all their efforts have come to naught.’
      • ‘All the extravagant statements come to naught.’
      • ‘I believe all this arguing and toing and froing will come to naught in the end.’
      • ‘Attempts so far to forge a compromise have come to naught, leaving the upcoming session disturbingly unsettled.’
      • ‘Many years of work and negotiations came to naught.’
      • ‘My attempts to raise money in France and Germany have come to naught.’
      • ‘Yet all will come to naught without international political, administrative and financial support on an unprecedented scale.’
      • ‘Everything he tries with the boy comes to naught!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hopes were then pinned on the disciplinary investigation of 20 senior officials - which has come to naught.’
      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
      flop, fizzle out, come a cropper, bite the dust, blow up in someone's face, go down like a lead balloon
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  • set at naught

    • archaic Disregard; despise.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      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).