1

aught

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pronoun \ˈȯt, ˈät\

Definition of aught

  1. 1 :  anything

  2. 2 :  all, everything for aught I care for aught we know

aught was our Word of the Day on 08/08/2012. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

If you know aught which does behove my knowledge / Thereof to be inform'd, imprison't not / In ignorant concealment, Polixenes begs Camillo in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, employing the "anything" sense of "aught." Shakespeare didn't coin the pronoun "aught," which has been a part of the English language since before the 12th century, but he did put it to frequent use. Writers today may be less likely to use "aught" than were their literary predecessors, but the pronoun does continue to turn up occasionally. "Aught" can also be a noun meaning "zero," and for a while the phrase "the aughts" was bandied about as a proposed label for the decade that began in the year 2000.

Origin and Etymology of aught

Middle English, from Old English āwiht, from ā ever + wiht creature, thing — more at aye, wight


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

aught

adverb

Definition of aught

archaic

  1. :  at all

Origin and Etymology of aught

see 1aught


First Known Use: 13th century


3

aught

noun

Definition of aught

  1. 1 :  zero, cipher

  2. 2 archaic :  nonentity, nothing

  3. 3 aughts plural :  the ten year period from 2000 through 2009 By the middle of the aughts, … the percentage of 26-year-olds living with their parents reached 20 percent, nearly double what it was in 1970. — Don Peck

Examples of aught in a Sentence

  1. for dates, the year is automatically listed as a pair of aughts, so the user has to scroll down to the correct figure

Origin and Etymology of aught

alteration (resulting from false division of a naught) of naught


First Known Use: 1872

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms



AUGHT Defined for Kids

aught

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noun \ˈȯt\

Definition of aught for Students

  1. :  zero 1



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a small amount

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