Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nonexistence; nothingness.
  • n. The figure 0; a cipher; a zero.
  • pro. Nothing: All their work was for naught.
  • adj. Nonexistent.
  • adj. Insignificant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. (now rare or archaic in US, Canada) Zero.
  • n. (now rare or archaic in US, Canada) Nothing; nothingness.
  • pro. nothing

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of no value or account; worthless; bad; useless.
  • adj. Hence, vile; base; naughty.
  • adv. In no degree; not at all.
  • n. Nothing.
  • n. The arithmetical character 0; a cipher. See Cipher.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Not anything; nothing.
  • n. A cipher; zero.
  • n. . Wickedness.
  • Of little or no account or value; worthless; valueless; useless.
  • . Lost; ruined.
  • . In a moral sense, wicked; bad; naughty. See naughty.
  • In no degree; not at all; not. See not.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. complete failure
  • n. a quantity of no importance

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English nāwiht : , no; see ne in Indo-European roots + wiht, thing; see wekti- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Middle English naught, nought, naht, nawiht, from Old English nawiht, "no whit". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When this was ended and done, for naught is durable save the Living, the Eternal,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Then he opened the door of his treasure closet, but found therein naught of his money nor his hoards; whereupon he recovered from the intoxication of fancy and shook off his infatuation and knew that it was his wife herself who had turned the tables upon him and outwitted him with her wiles.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Avaunt, O Whiteness,463 wherein naught of brightness gladdens sight

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Deity who hath power over all and from whom naught is hidden, the

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • But naught is better for generous youth than patience under its cares and miseries.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Moslems, we have taken captives your Sultan and your Wazir who hath the ordering of your affairs; and except ye leave off fighting us, we will slay you to the last man; but an you yield yourselves we will take you to our King, who will make peace with you on condition that you quit our country and return home and harm us in naught, and we will do you no harm in aught.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • And naught is left to seek or find of all that I desired:

    The Old Road to Paradise

  • Now naught is left of Ukraina save her songs – but in that song she still lives, engraved in the heart of the people.

    Songs of Ukraina, With Ruthenian Poems

  • It was the mysterious, evil forest, a charnel house of silence, wherein naught moved save strange tiny birds -- the strangeness of them making the mystery more profound, for they flitted on noiseless wings, emitting neither song nor chirp, and they were mottled with morbid colours, having all the seeming of orchids, flying blossoms of sickness and decay.

    The Head-Hunters

  • I forfeit my head if I set sail for England; naught is left for me that I see that shall save my neck but to turn pirate and king it over the high seas.

    The Heart's Highway: A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century

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