\ ˈnȯt How to pronounce naught (audio) , ˈnät \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of naught

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: nothing Their efforts came to naught. It was all for naught.


variants: or less commonly nought

Definition of naught (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : the arithmetical symbol 0 : zero, cipher

Synonyms for naught

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of naught in a Sentence

Noun my locker number is naught-seven-two
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Russian leader has a history of brinkmanship and prior buildups on the border have come to naught. Jennifer Jacobs,, 22 Nov. 2021 Organizations that adopt a laissez-faire approach and expect that coaching will naturally take root after a successful pilot inevitably destine the previous valiant efforts to come to naught. Thomas Lim, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 Sony and Essel held talks in 2019, but these came to naught. Patrick Frater, Variety, 21 Sep. 2021 Then came the financial crisis of 2008, and seven years’ worth of taxpayer pain came to naught. New York Times, 11 May 2021 The effective reproduction number (the R-naught) –– a key indicator of how fast the Covid virus is infecting people –– has declined below 1 for the first time since mid-February. Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, 17 May 2021 And her struggles to absorb some of L’s power, evoked with great subtlety by Cusk, ultimately come to naught. Claire Dederer, The Atlantic, 4 May 2021 This possibly explains the power, which at naught to 62 mph in five seconds isn’t as fast and furious as some of its competitors. Nargess Banks, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 But like the big vision of the Sheridan, the HoJo plans came to naught. James Lileks, Star Tribune, 24 Mar. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for naught

Pronoun and Noun

Middle English nought, from Old English nāwiht, from no + wiht creature, thing — more at no, wight

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Time Traveler for naught

Time Traveler

The first known use of naught was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near naught




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Statistics for naught

Cite this Entry

“Naught.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for naught



English Language Learners Definition of naught


variants: also nought \ ˈnȯt \

Kids Definition of naught

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: nothing entry 1 sense 1 Our efforts came to naught in the end.


variants: also nought

Kids Definition of naught (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on naught

Nglish: Translation of naught for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of naught for Arabic Speakers


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