aught

pronoun
\ˈȯt, ˈät\

Definition of aught 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : anything

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

aught

adverb

Definition of aught (Entry 2 of 3)

archaic

: at all

aught

noun

Definition of aught (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : zero, cipher

2 archaic : nonentity, nothing

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

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Synonyms for aught

Synonyms: Noun

cipher, goose egg, naught (also nought), nil, nothing, o, oh, zero, zilch, zip

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Did You Know?

Pronoun

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.

Examples of aught in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perhaps the timing of Ditte and Nicolaj’s Ganni in the late aughts, ushering in a fresh interpretation of Scandinavian style, aligned well with our collective tiring of these mythical style icons. Alexandra Ilyashov, Glamour, "How Ganni Came to Dictate Everything You Want to Wear Right Now," 10 Oct. 2018 ENTIREWORLD Designer Scott Sternberg, who rose to fashion industry darling status in the aughts with his preppy-meets-hipster label Band of Outsiders, describes his latest venture, launched online in April, as nonbasic basics. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Designers Hope ‘Drops’ Make You Shop," 23 July 2018 Lee also publicly advocated for the storytelling potential in video games, famously saying the medium had surpassed film itself in the late aughts. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Legendary Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee has died," 12 Nov. 2018 Unilever launched its ClearBlue Easy test, the first of its kind, in 1988, and the first digital test was released in the early aughts. Elizabeth Kiefer, Allure, "Lia Is the Game-Changing Pregnancy Test You Can Flush Down the Toilet," 6 July 2018 In the late aughts, pirates off the coast of Somalia were hijacking a ship a week. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Digital Vigilantes Who Hack Back," 30 Apr. 2018 Due to immigration crackdowns, economic after-effects of the late-aughts recession, and a lack of interest on the part of millennials, the field is down by 275,000 workers. Amanda Abrams, Curbed, "Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage," 5 Nov. 2018 Carried by everyone from Paris Hilton to Carrie Bradshaw, the distinctly-shaped bag largely defined the fashion of the early aughts. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your Early 2000s Dream Bag Is Officially Back and Available To Shop Again," 19 July 2018 In Silicon Valley during the mid-aughts the conventional wisdom was that the internet gold rush was largely over. Adam Fisher, WIRED, "Sex, Beer, and Coding: Inside Facebook’s Wild Early Days," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aught.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aught

Pronoun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aught

Pronoun

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

Adverb

see aught entry 1

Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near aught

Auger shower

auger stem

Aughrim

aught

aughties

aughtlins

Augier

Statistics for aught

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Time Traveler for aught

The first known use of aught was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for aught

aught

noun
\ˈȯt \

Kids Definition of aught

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More from Merriam-Webster on aught

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aught

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aught

Nglish: Translation of aught for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aught for Arabic Speakers

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