\ ˈnil How to pronounce nil (audio) \

Definition of nil

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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

Among the key flaws of the policy is that 95% of Medicaid enrollees already work or participate in activities that met the necessary threshold or are exempt, which means the ability of the rule to materially affect employment is close to nil. Michael Hiltzik,, "Confirmed: Medicaid work rules are a health disaster for the poor and don’t affect work," 21 June 2019 The chance that these books offer any genuinely interesting insights into this significant time in history are close to nil. John Warner,, "From Pete Buttigieg to Kamala Harris, it's the season of campaign books. But why bother?," 13 June 2019 The differences are maximum at angles of 60 and 120 degrees, and minimum (nil) at 0, 90 and 180 degrees. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Taming Quantum Weirdness’," 10 Mar. 2017 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for nil

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nil

The first known use of nil was circa 1550

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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.

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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

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