\ˈnȯt, 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

aught, cipher, goose egg, nil, nothing, o, oh, zero, zilch, zip

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Examples of naught in a Sentence


my locker number is naught-seven-two

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But those efforts have been for naught — and many from across San Diego County are mourning the loss. Karen Pearlman,, "Iconic La Mesa dealership, the Roundhouse of Values, being demolished," 26 June 2018 Like Abe, the other world leaders Trump will meet in Quebec at the annual G7 summit have become dismayed that their attempts to flatter and cajole him have gone for naught. Eli Stokols,, "Trump claims U.S. is ‘respected again' in the world. 'Preposterous,' say allies and diplomats.," 7 June 2018 The rally went for naught, though, when Jankowski singled off Rucinski to drive in the go-ahead run. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Rally falls short as Padres prevail over Marlins, 5-4," 9 June 2018 All for naught, though, as the USSR eventually put small rovers on the lunar surface, but never cosmonauts. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "The Soviet Union's Secret Moon Base That Never Was," 11 Feb. 2016 That means that all the science being produced by NASA scientists might go for naught unless an agency like the EPA actually uses that science to limit greenhouse gases from power plants, cars, and factories. Eric Niiler, WIRED, "NASA’s Jim Bridenstine Agrees Humans Are Responsible for Climate Change," 17 May 2018 All that hard work to get rid of cigarettes, to crack down on gas stations selling to minors, to make this deadly habit as unglamorous as possible is for naught because now the kids are vaping. Sara Clarkson,, "Clarkson: Dangers of nicotine hidden in vaping names, flavors," 16 May 2018 For the Europeans, a Trump withdrawal would also constitute dispiriting proof that trying to appease the mercurial American president is an exercise for naught. Josh Lederman, Fox News, "World to learn fate of Iran nuclear pact Tuesday afternoon," 8 May 2018 Perhaps Blankenship's efforts to tap into an anti-establishment mentality are all for naught, though. Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, "GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship explains why he called McConnell 'Cocaine Mitch'," 1 May 2018

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


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


see naught entry 1

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Statistics for naught

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Time Traveler for naught

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on naught

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with naught

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for naught

Spanish Central: Translation of naught

Nglish: Translation of naught for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of naught for Arabic Speakers

Comments on naught

What made you want to look up naught? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

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