nu·​ga·​to·​ry | \ ˈnü-gə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce nugatory (audio) , ˈnyü-\

Definition of nugatory

1 : of little or no consequence : trifling, inconsequential comments too nugatory to merit attention
2 : having no force : inoperative The law was unenforced and thus rendered nugatory.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nugatory


bad, inoperative, invalid, nonbinding, nonvalid, null, null and void, void


binding, good, valid

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Choose the Right Synonym for nugatory

vain, nugatory, otiose, idle, empty, hollow mean being without worth or significance. vain implies either absolute or relative absence of value. vain promises nugatory suggests triviality or insignificance. a monarch with nugatory powers otiose suggests that something serves no purpose and is either an encumbrance or a superfluity. a film without a single otiose scene idle suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect. idle speculations empty and hollow suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or soundness or genuineness. an empty attempt at reconciliation a hollow victory

Did You Know?

Nugatory, which first appeared in English in the 17th century, comes from the Latin adjective nugatorius and is ultimately a derivative of the noun nugae, meaning "trifles." Like its synonyms "vain," "idle," "empty," and "hollow," nugatory means "without worth or significance." But while "nugatory" suggests triviality or insignificance ("a monarch with nugatory powers," for example), "vain" implies either absolute or relative absence of value (as in "vain promises"). "Idle" suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect (as in "idle speculations"). "Empty" and "hollow" suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or genuineness (as in "an empty attempt at reconciliation" or "a hollow victory").

Examples of nugatory in a Sentence

the congressional resolution has symbolic value only, as it relates to a matter governed by the states and is thus nugatory the book is entertaining, but its contributions to Shakespearean scholarship are nugatory

First Known Use of nugatory

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nugatory

Latin nugatorius, from nugari to trifle, from nugae trifles

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The first known use of nugatory was in 1603

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nu·​ga·​to·​ry | \ ˈnü-gə-ˌtōr-ē, ˈnyü- How to pronounce nugatory (audio) \

Legal Definition of nugatory

: being without operative legal effect held that such an interpretation would render the statute nugatory

History and Etymology for nugatory

Latin nugatorius, from nugari to trifle, from nugae trifles

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something valued as if it were money

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