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

  • n. Zero; nothing.
  • n. A person regarded as being insignificant; a nonentity.
  • adj. Amounting to nothing; nil: "Business was zilch” ( New York).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. nothing.
  • adj. nothing; zero

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

  • n. a quantity of no importance


Perhaps from alteration of z(ero) + (n)il.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Related to creative origin of Mr. Zilch in Ballyhoo, 1930's humor magazine. (Wiktionary)


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