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nugatory

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adjective nu·ga·to·ry \ˈnü-gə-ˌtȯr-ē, ˈnyü-\

Definition of nugatory

  1. 1 :  of little or no consequence :  trifling, inconsequential

  2. 2 :  having no force :  inoperative



Examples of nugatory in a sentence

  1. <the congressional resolution has symbolic value only, as it relates to a matter governed by the states and is thus nugatory>

  2. <the book is entertaining, but its contributions to Shakespearean scholarship are nugatory>



Did You Know?

Nugatory, which first appeared in English in the 17th century, comes from the Latin adjective nugatorius and is ultimately a derivative of the noun nugae, meaning "trifles." Like its synonyms "vain," "idle," "empty," and "hollow," nugatory means "without worth or significance." But while "nugatory" suggests triviality or insignificance ("a monarch with nugatory powers," for example), "vain" implies either absolute or relative absence of value (as in "vain promises"). "Idle" suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect (as in "idle speculations"). "Empty" and "hollow" suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or genuineness (as in "an empty attempt at reconciliation" or "a hollow victory").

Origin and Etymology of nugatory

Latin nugatorius, from nugari to trifle, from nugae trifles


First Known Use: 1603

Synonym Discussion of nugatory

vain, nugatory, otiose, idle, empty, hollow mean being without worth or significance. vain implies either absolute or relative absence of value <vain promises>. nugatory suggests triviality or insignificance <a monarch with nugatory powers>. otiose suggests that something serves no purpose and is either an encumbrance or a superfluity <a film without a single otiose scene>. idle suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect <idle speculations>. empty and hollow suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or soundness or genuineness <an empty attempt at reconciliation> <a hollow victory>.

Law Dictionary

nugatory

play
adjective nu·ga·to·ry \ˈnü-gə-ˌtōr-ē, ˈnyü-\

Legal Definition of nugatory

  1. :  being without operative legal effect <held that such an interpretation would render the statute nugatory>



Origin and Etymology of nugatory

Latin nugatorius, from nugari to trifle, from nugae trifles


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