noth·​ing·​ness | \ ˈnə-thiŋ-nəs How to pronounce nothingness (audio) \

Definition of nothingness

1 : the quality or state of being nothing: such as
b : utter insignificance
c : death
2 : something insignificant or valueless

Synonyms & Antonyms for nothingness



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of nothingness in a Sentence

He was staring into nothingness. The sound faded into nothingness.
Recent Examples on the Web What gave rise to such behemoths of nothingness is a mystery. New York Times, 12 May 2022 It’s the very sense of nothingness, of frantic agitation that surrounds and even distracts from the action, that is the movie’s main distinction. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 Here's the exciting, true-nothingness part about doing nothing: If another card comes addressed only to you, then, so what. Washington Post, 30 May 2021 As in Zen, the pursuit of nothingness calms the mind. Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2022 There were glimmers of hope followed by long periods of nothingness, injuries. Sarah Barker, Outside Online, 30 Nov. 2020 That is because the universe was born in a sea of nothingness without the space and time where sound can exist. Amy Brady, Scientific American, 23 Feb. 2022 For a very different read on mapping during the pandemic, try Shannon Mattern’s piece on mapping erasure and nothingness at Places Journal. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 24 Aug. 2017 With the advent of Christianity, nothingness becomes a new kind of problem, and a more pressing one. Max Norman, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nothingness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nothingness

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About nothingness

Time Traveler for nothingness

Time Traveler

The first known use of nothingness was circa 1631

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near nothingness



nothing off

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for nothingness

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nothingness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on nothingness

Nglish: Translation of nothingness for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about nothingness


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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