\ 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

Abbas argued at a court hearing earlier this year that the intrusions imposed on those listed are all for naught and that the list is worthless in terms of preventing terrorism. CBS News, "Judge rules that terror watchlist violates constitutional rights," 5 Sep. 2019 And now to think their rise from the ashes could possibly be for naught? Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "After rough week in the Big Apple, Indians hope to catch a second wind in playoff race," 23 Aug. 2019 If that happens, though, all that progress from Gatewood since late last season could be for naught. Tom Green |, al, "5 Auburn players with the most to gain, lose during fall camp," 1 Aug. 2019 Could a decade’s worth of work end up all for naught? Jon Chesto,, "Wind victory comes at just the right time for Eversource," 21 July 2019 If Corbett wins the job and plays well, all the teeth-gnashing over the pick was for naught. Dan Labbe,, "What if Austin Corbett doesn’t win the right guard job? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 15 July 2019 But the Twins rallied and the jack went for naught, resulting in a 12-inning 4-3 win for the Twins. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "3 takeaways: A’s miss out on walk-off, Treinen’s return falls flat, and a Luzardo setback," 4 July 2019 GiaNina was in costume and ready to go, but all that practice was for naught. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "Abby Cut GiaNina's 'Jersey Shore'-Themed Solo On This Week's 'Dance Moms'," 3 July 2019 Three consecutive straightaway shots inside of the box in the 42nd minute - one from Phillip Rasmussen, another from Daniel Barrera and the third from Mads Jorgenson - went for naught. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Hartford Athletic can’t mount comeback against Bethlehem Steel FC, lose 3-0," 29 June 2019

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!