1

null

play
adjective \ˈnəl\

Definition of null

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

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

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

  4. 4a :  having no elements (see element b(3)) null setb :  having zero as a limit null sequencec of a matrix :  having all elements equal to zero

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

  7. 7 :  zero 1c

null was our Word of the Day on 04/23/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of null in a Sentence

  1. the contract was null because one party forgot to sign it

  2. that information is as null as no information at all

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").

Origin and Etymology of null

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


First Known Use: 1542


2

null

noun

Definition of null

  1. 1 :  zero 3a(1)

  2. 2a :  a condition of a radio receiver when minimum or zero signal is receivedb :  a minimum or zero value of an electric current or of a radio signal

Origin and Etymology of null

see 1null


First Known Use: 1605


3

null

verb

Definition of null

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make null

Examples of null in a Sentence

  1. asked the state court to null the election results because of widespread voting irregularities

Origin and Etymology of null

see 1null


First Known Use: 1556


NULL Defined for English Language Learners

1

null

play
adjective \ˈnəl\

Definition of null for English Language Learners

  • law : having no legal power


NULL Defined for Kids

null

play
adjective \ˈnəl\

Definition of null for Students

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


Law Dictionary

null

play
adjective \ˈnəl\

Legal Definition of null

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

Origin and Etymology of null

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up null? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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