noth·ing | \ˈnə-thiŋ \

Definition of nothing 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : not any thing : no thing leaves nothing to the imagination

2 : no part

3 : one of no interest, value, or consequence they mean nothing to me

nothing doing

: by no means : definitely no

nothing for it

: no alternative nothing for it but to start over



Definition of nothing (Entry 2 of 4)

: not at all : in no degree

nothing like

: not nearly it's nothing like thorough enough



Definition of nothing (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : something that does not exist

b : the absence of all magnitude or quantity also : zero sense 1a

c : nothingness, nonexistence

2 : someone or something of no or slight value or size

3 : a light, playful, or frivolous remark usually used in plural whispered sweet nothings

for nothing

1 : without reason

2 : at no charge



Definition of nothing (Entry 4 of 4)

: of no account : worthless

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nothing

Synonyms: Adverb

never, no, none, noway (or noways), nowise

Synonyms: Noun

cipher, lightweight, nobody, nonentity, pip-squeak, pygmy (also pigmy), shrimp, twerp, whippersnapper, zero, zilch

Antonyms: Adverb

anyhow, anyway, anywise, at all, ever, half, however

Antonyms: Noun

big shot, bigwig, eminence, figure, kingpin, magnate, nabob, personage, somebody, VIP

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Examples of nothing in a Sentence


There's nothing in my hands. She knows nothing of our plans. You have nothing to worry about. There's nothing fun to do around here. You think that's bad? It's nothing compared to what I went through. Don't get all upset over nothing. Your opinion means nothing to me. “Are you hurt?” “Don't worry. It's nothing.”


She is nothing like her sister. It's nothing close to finished.


It appeared out of nothing. The UFO hovered for a while, then vanished into nothing. My children are important to me—I'm nothing without them.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Orlando Fire Department’s hazmat team evaluated the envelop and deemed there was nothing hazardous inside. David Harris,, "Winter Park Police headquarters evacuated for suspicious package," 13 July 2018 But nothing the Clinton White House did comes anywhere near the constant barrage of conspiracy mongering that Donald Trump is using against special counsel Robert Mueller. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump won’t like Brett Kavanaugh’s position on independent investigations of the White House.," 12 July 2018 But Shepherd loves living in Indiana, and thinks nothing of practicing in the snow, wearing layers of clothing and a ski mask. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 Dispatch showed nothing in tow logs and deputies were not able to find any witnesses or suspect information. Austen Erblat,, "Wellington, Royal Palm Beach area crime log: June 15-30," 13 July 2018 That’s nothing new nor should anyone be surprised that farmers keep pushing forward, ignoring challenges that would derail lesser people and lesser business operations. The Aegis, "Roller coaster ride [Editorial]," 13 July 2018 Baer said Flynt embraced the First Amendment to make a buck, nothing more. Cincinnati Enquirer, "Read more from this Project," 13 July 2018 As lunch nears, the cutting boards patter, the steamers wheeze, but nothing ever roars above the woks. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 If nothing else, Mr. Trump’s apparent willingness to turn over the table has gotten the attention of Western allies, creating a sense of urgency to meet the spending goals, and not everyone drew back in alarm. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Amid the Trumpian Chaos, Europe Sees a Strategy: Divide and Conquer," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nothing.' 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 nothing


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


12th century, in the meaning defined above


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nothing


Middle English, from Old English nān thing, nāthing, from nān no + thing thing — more at none

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Statistics for nothing

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Time Traveler for nothing

The first known use of nothing was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for nothing



English Language Learners Definition of nothing

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not anything : not a thing

: someone or something that has no interest, value, or importance



English Language Learners Definition of nothing (Entry 2 of 3)

: not at all : in no way



English Language Learners Definition of nothing (Entry 3 of 3)

: empty space

: the number 0

: someone or something that has little or no worth, importance, or influence


noth·ing | \ˈnə-thiŋ \

Kids Definition of nothing

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not anything : no thing There's nothing in the box.

2 : someone or something of no interest, value, or importance Your opinion is nothing to me.



Kids Definition of nothing (Entry 2 of 3)

: not at all : in no way He is nothing like his brother.



Kids Definition of nothing (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : something that does not exist : empty space The magician made a rabbit appear out of nothing.

2 : zero sense 1 The score was ten to nothing.

3 : someone or something of little or no worth or importance I'm nothing without my friends and family.

for nothing

1 : for no reason We did all that work for nothing.

2 : for no money

Other Words from nothing

nothingness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on nothing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nothing

Spanish Central: Translation of nothing

Nglish: Translation of nothing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nothing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nothing

What made you want to look up nothing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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