\ ˈnȯt How to pronounce naught (audio) , ˈnät \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of naught

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: nothing Their efforts came to naught. It was all for naught.


variants: or less commonly nought

Definition of naught (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : the arithmetical symbol 0 : zero, cipher

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Synonyms for naught

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of naught in a Sentence

Noun my locker number is naught-seven-two
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His father, in his first letter home from America, lamented that his son’s training as a farrier was for naught. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Domenic Parisi Dies at 76; He Sheared Nixon’s Locks," 12 Oct. 2020 This story was updated to reflect that polio, not the mumps, has an R-naught of seven and herd immunity threshold of 85 percent. Nsikan Akpan, National Geographic, "A 'herd mentality' can’t stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither can a weak vaccine.," 2 Oct. 2020 The reproduction factor of the virus, known as R-naught, rose to 0.85 on Friday from 0.77 the day before, according to the latest estimate from the Robert Koch Institute. Mariajose Vera,, "Merkel Pledges to Strengthen Germany’s Public Health Service," 5 Sep. 2020 Another troublesome metric is the R factor or R-naught, which expresses the level of infectiousness in a group of people. Anne Saker, The Enquirer, "COVID 19: Colleges are open and cases are up in SW Ohio. Could they fuel Labor Day surge?," 3 Sep. 2020 Hezbollah’s many years of masking itself as a Lebanese entity had come to naught. Carine Hajjar, National Review, "Now Is the Time to Force Hezbollah out of Lebanon," 22 Aug. 2020 Unlike previous estimates, some new estimates for herd immunity take into account the extent to which the reproductive number, R-naught, varies in different groups and subpopulations. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, "Coronavirus News Roundup, August 15-August 21," 21 Aug. 2020 The state’s Rt, pronounced R-naught, again revised down Monday morning to 0.79, the lowest of any state. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Arizona reports no new COVID-19 deaths, just 468 new cases," 18 Aug. 2020 Decades later, plans to clone Asiatic cheetahs also came to naught. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "After Decades-Long Battle, Cheetahs Can Be Reintroduced in India," 28 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'naught.' 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 naught


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


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

History and Etymology for naught

Pronoun and Noun

Middle English nought, from Old English nāwiht, from no + wiht creature, thing — more at no, wight

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Time Traveler for naught

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for naught

Cite this Entry

“Naught.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for naught


variants: also nought \ ˈnȯt \

Kids Definition of naught

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: nothing entry 1 sense 1 Our efforts came to naught in the end.


variants: also nought

Kids Definition of naught (Entry 2 of 2)

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