ex nihilo

adverb or adjective

ex ni·​hi·​lo (ˌ)eks-ˈnē-(h)ə-ˌlō How to pronounce ex nihilo (audio)
: from or out of nothing
creation ex nihilo

Examples of ex nihilo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then a major land war broke out in Europe, and the same cultural stratum that had been vigorously enforcing COVID hygiene rules just a few weeks before moved on, as if overnight, to what seemed like an ex nihilo enthusiasm for the liberal Atlanticist order. Justin E. H. Smith, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 What follows is a truncated history of the decline in union membership in the United States, which treats the phenomenon as a mysterious ex nihilo occurrence, and an amicable vision of the future of the worker-employer relationship built on mutual respect and benevolence. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, 11 Sep. 2020 To Page, the salient point is that God created the Universe ex nihilo – from absolutely nothing. Zeeya Merali, Discover Magazine, 19 June 2017 These lurid blossoms, the largest in the world, seem to have erupted — blossomed seems too delicate a description — ex nihilo. Richard Pallardy, Discover Magazine, 15 July 2021 Woke ideas about race and power did not form ex nihilo in the minds of DEI consultants at K–12 schools. Garion Frankel, National Review, 5 Mar. 2022 The Hilton was Europe’s first major modern hotel to be constructed ex nihilo after the war, built with glass, steel and White Portland cement from Germany, marble from Italy, aluminum windows, elevators and air-conditioning units from America. New York Times, 19 Feb. 2022 The process by which the horse-cart became the Mercedes EQ was one of evolution, not invention ex nihilo. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 18 Feb. 2022 Wrapped up in the consequences of God’s perfection, Christians also have to solve the problem of whether creation happened ex nihilo. Max Norman, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ex nihilo.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ex nihilo was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near ex nihilo

Cite this Entry

“Ex nihilo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ex%20nihilo. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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