\ ˈnəl How to pronounce null (audio) \

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.



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


nulled; nulling; nulls

Definition of null (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make null

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Did You Know?


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 Ensure all values in the business process are considered; there should be minimal null or zero values. Prashanth Southekal, Forbes, "Three Key Conditions For Robust ML Solutions," 12 Mar. 2021 While the French took their vacation, sorely missed were the tourists who flock here, which was practically null save for some European Union member state citizens who were free to cross borders last summer. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, "French Retail Suffers Blow As Third Lockdown Implemented In 16 Departments," 21 Mar. 2021 The contingency was null if the father never lived in the United States, according to a 2016 Fordham Law Review article. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Prince Harry's children could run for president under certain conditions," 9 Mar. 2021 Affirming that guidance and rules alike are null unless properly submitted to the Government Accountability Office and to Congress. Wayne Crews, National Review, "Tyrannosaurus Regs and Regulatory Dark Matter: Biden’s Accountability Deficit on Regulation," 8 Mar. 2021 To be assigned a value score, stocks must have a valid (non-null) ratio and corresponding ranking for at least two of the six valuation ratios. Charles Rotblut, Forbes, "Three Stocks That Could Help Rebuild America’s Aging Infrastructure," 3 Mar. 2021 Otherwise, if your employer leaves the company, or simply forgets, those agreements are null. Deborah Acosta, WSJ, "How to Negotiate and Counter a Job Offer," 7 Dec. 2020 In every tokamak, there is a null point in the magnetic field. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Smaller, more efficient tokamak could follow in ITER’s fusion footsteps," 27 Oct. 2020 And like the two preceding sequences, the density of numbers is null at infinity. Jean-paul Delahaye, Scientific American, "For Math Fans: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Number 42," 21 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just a few years after it was proposed, critical tests were performed, confirming the predictions of Einstein’s theory as matching our Universe and rejecting the null (Newtonian) hypothesis. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, "What Do We Really Know About Dark Matter And Black Holes?," 3 Mar. 2021 Immediately after the election, Maduro ordered its supreme court to declare null all proposals that came from the national assembly. Jorge Jraissati, National Review, "Venezuela’s Sham Election," 2 Dec. 2020 However, the worsening coronavirus pandemic and the public’s unpredictable response renders nearly all conventional political wisdom null. cleveland, "Bernie Sanders ends Democratic presidential campaign," 8 Apr. 2020 Human rights prosecutor Jordán Rodas asked the tribunal to overturn it, arguing that U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of tariffs or other consequences made the agreement null. Washington Post, "US Homeland Security discusses asylum agreement in Guatemala," 31 July 2019 That benefit is rendered null, however, when people take photos with the intent of sharing them on, say, Instagram. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?," 11 July 2019 The server logs are sent to dev/null, a nonexistent directory on Linux machines. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Mullvad 2018 review: A fantastic VPN has a great new look," 17 Oct. 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 12 July 2018 SlideComponent);var w=[],y=null,C=function(e){function t(n,i,r){,t,y,_.ViewType. Car and Driver, "No title," 12 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Miley threw 51/3 perfect innings, nulled three runners in the seventh and tried to complete a shutout in the ninth. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Wade Miley's superb start squandered as Astros fall to A's in 11 innings," 24 July 2019 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,, "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., "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


1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1556, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for null

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

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

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Null.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for null



English Language Learners Definition of null

law : having no legal power


\ ˈnəl How to pronounce null (audio) \

Kids Definition of null

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


\ ˈnəl How to pronounce null (audio) \

Legal Definition of null

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

History and Etymology for null

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

More from Merriam-Webster on null

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for null

Nglish: Translation of null for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of null for Arabic Speakers

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