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

Frasch, the former Saks executive, says that today’s showiness surpasses even mid-aughts levels of excess. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design," 27 Dec. 2018 In short, Kendall was proving with each and every look that the early-aughts are here to stay—at least for another season. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Wore Lingerie on the Beach and It Was Genius," 19 Dec. 2018 In just five minutes and thirty seconds, Grande delivered a wild ride of chick flick heaven—recreating some of the greatest early aughts movie scenes and surprising us with the most epic Kris Jenner cameo of all time (as Regina George's mom). Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "All The Iconic Movie Looks Ariana Grande Recreated in Her "Thank U, Next" Video," 30 Nov. 2018 The only way this look could get more late '90s/early aughts is if her hair was in a messy bun with just one streak hanging down directly in front of her eyes. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Miranda Kerr Got Face-Framing Highlights Straight Out of 2001," 21 Sep. 2018 Be digital With the explosion of streaming fitness services, excuses not to exercise are so mid-aughts. Dana Wood, WSJ, "How To Work Out Efficiently If You’re a Workaholic," 15 Nov. 2018 Kendall stuck to the early-aughts theme with the rest of her ensemble, too. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Wears a Von Dutch Trucker Hat to Drake's Birthday Party," 24 Oct. 2018 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

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 and Adverb

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

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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