noth·​ing·​ness | \ˈnə-thiŋ-nəs \

Definition of nothingness 

1 : the quality or state of being nothing: such as

a : nonexistence

b : utter insignificance

c : death

2 : something insignificant or valueless

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nothingness


dead, deadness, death, grave, lifelessness, sleep


existence, life

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Examples of nothingness in a Sentence

He was staring into nothingness. The sound faded into nothingness.

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps a true zero — meaning absolute nothingness — may have existed in the time before the Big Bang. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The mind-bendy weirdness of the number zero, explained," 5 July 2018 Enter the oasis of numbing nothingness that is Love Island, now in its fourth season on the UK channel ITV. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Why You Should Watch Love Island, the British Reality Dating Show With a New Episode Every Day," 6 July 2018 We kids weren’t supposed to know about the nothingness. Pamela Jane Bell, WSJ, "My Long Recovery From Kindergarten," 13 May 2018 In both cases, something tangible and significant is forged from nothingness. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Chronicles: The Intoxicating Attraction of the Abyss," 8 June 2018 The coyotes took us to a dusty, dilapidated shack on an old, dirt road, surrounded by nothingness, with the U.S. border on the horizon. Maria E. Andreu, Teen Vogue, "I Could Have Been Separated From My Mother While Crossing the Border Between the United States and Mexico," 18 June 2018 Let your eyes cross and the picture becomes mushy gray nothingness. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Today's Best Optical Illusion Might Actually Break Your Brain," 10 Apr. 2018 And the closer one gets, the more the elements break up, into swirling hills and valleys of gray, taupe, black and white pixillated nothingness. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Art Daybook: Roberto Cortázar's painting as existential crisis," 21 Feb. 2018 But that seemingly solid tapestry of social orders melted away into nothingness almost overnight. New York Times, "He’s 19. She’s 48 and Married. When They Play Doubles Tennis, It’s a Match.," 26 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of nothingness

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of nothingness was circa 1631

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English Language Learners Definition of nothingness

: empty space

: the state of being no longer seen, heard, or felt

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