\ ˈnil How to pronounce nil (audio) \

Definition of nil

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nil

nil adjective

Examples of nil in a Sentence

They took a 2 to nil lead in the second half of the game. the difference in the audio performance of those two CD players is nil

Recent Examples on the Web

Zero-zero, or nil-nil, as soccer aficionados like to say. Nick Hoppe,, "Orphans find families wherever they can," 2 July 2018 Unlike products such as flour, lettuce’s shelf life is short: Opportunities to test the offending crop range from limited to nil. Jan Hoffman, New York Times, "Romaine Riddle: Why the E. Coli Outbreak Eludes Food Investigators," 7 May 2018 Part of the reason for that is because increased vehicular traffic on the highway has reduced foot traffic to nil. Mike Scott,, "Once upon a time in Covington: The story of the 'heart pine house'," 5 Mar. 2018 The decline in air crashes over the past decade to nil is mostly the result of better training and oversight of pilots and air traffic controllers and improvements made by jet and engine manufacturers. Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, "Fact-checking President Trump’s post-New Year’s tweets," 3 Jan. 2018 But certainly when public water money doesn’t even require those private water businesses to use it for, well, community water systems, then the chances those systems will improve is close to nil. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Rural America’s Drinking-Water Crisis," 12 Feb. 2018 The deterrent effect of this penalty will be close to nil. Michael Hiltzik,, "A slap on CashCall's wrist signals there's no downside to deceiving borrowers," 26 Jan. 2018 Less than two minutes later Forestell used some fancy footwork to weave through the defense and score her first of two goals to put Mobile ahead four-nil. Mobile Athletics,, "No. 8 Mobile Women's Soccer Cruises Past Faulkner, 9-1, in the SSAC Tournament Quarterfinals," 4 Nov. 2017 The senior tallied her first goal of the season with a beautiful header into the top right corner to give Mobile a one-nil advantage. Mobile Athletics,, "(13) Mobile Defeat (RV) Siena Heights, 2-0, on Labor Day to Stay Undefeated," 4 Sep. 2017

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

circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nil

Latin, nothing, contraction of nihil, from Old Latin nihilum, from ne- not + hilum trifle — more at no

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nil

Statistics for nil

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nil

The first known use of nil was circa 1550

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nil



English Language Learners Definition of nil

: none at all
British : a score of zero


\ ˈnil How to pronounce nil (audio) \

Kids Definition of nil

: nothing at all : zero The chances of that happening are almost nil.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nil

Spanish Central: Translation of nil

Nglish: Translation of nil for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nil

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


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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!