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

That’s part of what is so appealing to Legum, who came up as a blogger in the early aughts, when loyal readers visited and often commented on their favorite blogs every day. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Judd Legum Wants to Fix News With a Newsletter," 12 July 2018 In the prime of his career, in the mid-90s through the mid-aughts, he was considered one of hockey’s greatest players, a combination of uncontainable speed and skill. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Should Detroit Red Wings retire Sergei Fedorov's No. 91? It's time.," 12 July 2018 In the aughts, LA's Koji BBQ food truck, piloted by a Korean-American chef, essentially launched an American street-food revolution with spicy pork tacos and kimchi quesadillas. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Andersonville’s Passerotto is a tale of two peninsulas," 21 June 2018 Born in Uzbekistan and raised in Queens, New York, from the age of 14, Arabo came to be omnipresent in the gaudy world of ‘90s and early-aughts hip-hop, having his name dropped in dozens of rap songs. Cam Wolf, GQ, "James Harden Owns the Iciest Watch You've Ever Seen," 30 Apr. 2018 Some time around the mid-aughts, folks in the weed industry began to notice a shift in the market. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "Shatter, Batter, Wax: How Cannabis Extracts Come to Be," 22 Mar. 2018 That and the general decay of Detroit, which, through years of intense segregation and job loss, saw its population shrink by more than 60 percent between the mid-20th century and the early aughts. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Why Ford Is Buying Detroit’s Derelict Train Station," 19 June 2018 Dermer, who grew up in a political family in Miami Beach and moved to Israel in 1996, recalled accompanying Netanyahu to Trump Tower, in New York, in the early aughts for a meeting with Donald Trump. Adam Entous, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s New World Order," 11 June 2018 The star wore a pink floral dress by Juicy Couture, an aught-era cult fave. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Paris Hilton and Nichole Richie's," 10 Apr. 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

Phrases Related to aught

for aught one knows

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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Comments on aught

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