nullity

play
noun nul·li·ty \ ˈnə-lə-tē \

Definition of nullity

plural nullities
1 a :the quality or state of being null; especially :legal invalidity
b (1) :nothingness; also :insignificance
(2) :a mere nothing :nonentity
2 :one that is null; specifically :an act void of legal effect
3 :the number of elements in a basis of a null-space

Examples of nullity in a Sentence

  1. that tiny country's ambassador from the U.S. is usually some nullity who happens to be a friend or supporter of the current president

  2. one of the basic themes of the theater of the absurd is the essential nullity of human existence

Recent Examples of nullity from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nullity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Intellectuals may speak of a book or a film as a nullity, claiming it possesses nothing original enough to justify its existence. Legal scholars also use the word; a law passed by a legislature may be called a nullity if, for example, it's so obviously unconstitutional that it's going to be shot down by the courts in no time. And if you're in an unkind mood, you're also free to call a person a nullity, if you're not instead calling him a nobody, a nonentity, or a zero.

First Known Use of nullity

1543


Law Dictionary

nullity

play
noun nul·li·ty \ ˈnə-lə-tē \

legal Definition of nullity

plural nullities
1 :the quality or state of being null
2 :an act, proceeding, or contract void of legal effect — compare impediment
absolute nullity
in the civil law of Louisiana :a contract or act considered void by virtue of a transgression of the public order, interest, law, or morals
  • a bigamous marriage is an absolute nullity
  • Louisiana Civil Code
; also :the quality or state of such a nullity
Note: A marriage that is an absolute nullity does not have to be annulled to terminate its legal effects (as property rights).
relative nullity
in the civil law of Louisiana :a nullity that can be cured by confirmation because the object involved is considered valid; also :the quality or state of such a nullity
Note: A contract that is a relative nullity may be annulled and the parties restored to their original positions. A marriage that is a relative nullity must be annulled to terminate the legal effects (as property rights) of the marriage.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nullity? 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

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!