ex ni·​hi·​lo | \ (ˌ)eks-ˈnē-(h)ə-ˌlō How to pronounce ex nihilo (audio) , -ˈni-, -ˈnī- \

Definition of ex nihilo

: from or out of nothing creation ex nihilo

Examples of ex nihilo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The richer and more terrifying problem upon which to meditate is the fact that the world is full of Arthur Flecks whose evil is not the result of psychological conditioning but is — or at least seems to be — ex nihilo. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Make Satan Great Again," 9 Oct. 2019 Bigelow’s monument was to be his own, ex nihilo and sui generis. Colin Dickey, Longreads, "American Sphinx," 31 Aug. 2017

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

First Known Use of ex nihilo

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ex nihilo


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The first known use of ex nihilo was in 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Ex nihilo.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ex%20nihilo. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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