\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for naught

Synonyms: Noun

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of naught in a Sentence


my locker number is naught-seven-two

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But her concern may be all for naught, as was her fear of seeing Drew Barrymore at Ellen DeGeneres' 60th birthday celebration early this year. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Sarah Paulson admits to Jimmy Fallon she peed 'a little, tiny bit' when she met Rihanna," 23 May 2018 The goodwill wasn’t all for naught, as the Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals before losing again to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jonas Shaffer,, "Orioles manager Buck Showalter is back on the Capitals' bandwagon," 11 May 2018 Those efforts went for naught when Nolasco, who had an opt-out clause, was released on Saturday. Maria Torres, kansascity, "What we learned at Royals spring training ... | The Kansas City Star," 25 Mar. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about naught

Statistics for naught

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for naught

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!