null

adjective
\ ˈnəl \

Definition of null 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having no legal or binding force : invalid a null contract

2 : amounting to nothing : nil the null uselessness of the wireless transmitter that lacks a receiving station —Fred Majdalany

3 : having no value : insignificant … news as null as nothing … —Emily Dickinson

4a : having no elements (see element sense b(3)) null set

b : having zero as a limit null sequence

c of a matrix : having all elements equal to zero

5a : indicating usually by a zero reading on a scale when a given quantity (such as current or voltage) is zero or when two quantities are equal used of an instrument

b : being or relating to a method of measurement in which an unknown quantity (as of electric current) is compared with a known quantity of the same kind and found equal by a null detector

6 : of, being, or relating to zero The meter gave a null reading.

null

noun

Definition of null (Entry 2 of 3)

2a : a condition of a radio receiver when minimum or zero signal is received

b : a minimum or zero value of an electric current or of a radio signal

null

verb
nulled; nulling; nulls

Definition of null (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make null

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Did You Know?

Adjective

English borrowed "null" from the Anglo-French nul, meaning "not any." That word, in turn, traces to the Latin word nullus, from ne-, meaning "not," and ullus, meaning "any." "Null" often pops up in legal and scientific contexts. It was originally used in Scottish law and still carries the meaning "having no legal or binding force." In math, it is sometimes used to mean "containing nothing"; for example, the set of all whole numbers that are divisible by zero is the "null set" (that is, there are no numbers that fit that description). But "null" also has some more general uses. We often use it with the meaning "lacking meaning or value" (as in "by the time I heard it, the news was null").

Examples of null in a Sentence

Adjective

the contract was null because one party forgot to sign it that information is as null as no information at all

Verb

asked the state court to null the election results because of widespread voting irregularities
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The main finding is that the thrust is in the right direction, and the null positions produce no thrust. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "NASA’s EM-drive is a magnetic WTF-thruster," 21 May 2018 See, scientists tend to publish positive findings and leave negative or null results in their desk drawers/desktops. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "What Happens When Science Just Disappears?," 25 Apr. 2018 Field experiments testing the effects of online ads on political candidates and issues have also found null effects. Brendan Nyhan, New York Times, "Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown," 13 Feb. 2018 How the Writers of Avengers: Infinity War Made the Biggest Superhero Movie of All Time nullChristopher Markus and Stephen McFeely talk about raising the stakes and taking risks with a major franchise. Tom Philip, GQ, "How the Writers of Avengers: Infinity War Made the Biggest Superhero Movie of All Time," 25 Apr. 2018 These experiments, which look for telltale nuclear activity in different types of materials, have published a string of null results, ruling out large classes of WIMPs that would be compatible with DAMA’s signal. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "Trouble Detected in Infamous Dark Matter Signal," 18 Apr. 2018 On a bizarre first-inning play that ultimately went down as null in the scorebook, Cashner executed a form tackle that would have been more at home across the parking lot at M&T Bank Stadium. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles' Andrew Cashner backs up bravado with seven shutout innings against Blue Jays," 11 Apr. 2018 By making it so much harder to believe in longstanding theories, this would be the most important null result in the history of physics. The Economist, "Lord of the ringsThe next super-collider should be built in China," 11 Jan. 2018 In other words, in writing up the results of the experiment, the researchers could have reported a null result, a statistically significant result in one direction, or a statistically significant result in the other direction. L.j. Zigerell, Washington Post, "Researchers have a lot of freedom about which findings to emphasize. That can be a problem.," 18 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 12 July 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 12 July 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 12 July 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 12 July 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 30 May 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 3 May 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 3 May 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){e.call(this,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 5 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The sats surge their signal strength to overwhelm any noise from an enemy trying to jam them, while nulling antennas pinpoint the attack and dampen the signal with counter-noise. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Doomsday Satellites and the Space Wars To Come," 15 Feb. 2018 Come kickoff Saturday night, any previous patterns and statistics for Futbol Club Cincinnati are nulled. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati enters USL Playoffs under different circumstances from last Rowdies game," 21 Oct. 2017 However, the shock lead was nulled three minutes before the break, as Cristiano Ronaldo levelled things up from 12-yards-out, punishing the 24-year-old Lilywhites right-back's decision to bring down Toni Kroos inside the area. SI.com, "Mauricio Pochettino Left Proud of His Players After Gaining Invaluable Point in Madrid," 18 Oct. 2017 Don’t worry that cooking with it will null the point: The heat is not so high as to damage the principal flavors. Emily Horton, charlotteobserver, "Eggplant and tomato make the pasta sauce of summer," 29 Aug. 2017 Don’t worry that cooking with it will null the point: The heat is not so high as to damage the principal flavors. Emily Horton, sacbee, "Eggplant and tomato make the pasta sauce of summer," 29 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'null.' 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 null

Adjective

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1556, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for null

Adjective

Anglo-French nul, literally, not any, from Latin nullus, from ne- not + ullus any; akin to Latin unus one — more at no, one

Noun

see null entry 1

Verb

see null entry 1

Adjective

Anglo-French nul, literally, not any, from Latin nullus, from ne- not + ullus any

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Dictionary Entries near null

Nuku Hiva

Nukuhivan

nul

null

nulla

nulla bona

nullah

Statistics for null

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for null

The first known use of null was in 1542

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More Definitions for null

null

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of null

law : having no legal power

null

adjective
\ ˈnəl \

Kids Definition of null

: having no legal force : not binding The law was declared null and void.

null

adjective
\ ˈnəl \

Legal Definition of null 

: having no legal or binding force : void a null contract

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Comments on null

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