1805–15; < Latin nīl, variant (by apocope) of nīlum, contraction of nihilum nothing, equivalent to ni (variant of ne not) + hīlum trifle Unabridged

nil admirari

[neel ahd-mee-rah-ree; English nil ad-mi-rair-ahy, -rair-ee]
to wonder at nothing.

nil desperandum

[neel des-pe-rahn-doom; English nil des-puh-ran-duhm]
never despair.

nil sine numine

[neel sin-e noo-mi-ne; English nil sin-ee noo-mi-nee, nyoo-]
nothing without the divine will: motto of Colorado. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nil (nɪl)
another word for nothing: used esp in the scoring of certain games
[C19: from Latin]

nil desperandum (ˈnɪl ˌdɛspəˈrændəm)
sentence substitute
never despair
[from Latin, literally: nothing to be despaired of]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"nothing," 1833, from L. nil, contraction of nihil, nihilum "nothing," from ne- "not" (see un-) + hilum "small thing, trifle," of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

NIL definition

/nil/ 1. New Implementation of Lisp. A language intended to be the successor of MacLisp. A large Lisp, implemented mostly in VAX assembly language. A forerunner of Common LISP.
["NIL: A Perspective", Jon L. White, MACSYMA Users' Conf Proc, 1979].
2. Network Implementation Language. Strom & Yemini, TJWRC, IBM. Implementation of complex networking protocols in a modular fashion.
["NIL: An Integrated Language and System for Distributed Programming", R. Strom et al, SIGPLAN Notices 18(6):73-82 (June 1983)].
3. Empty list or False. In Lisp, the empty list (or "nil list") is used to represent the Boolean value False. This is possible because Lisp is not typed. True is represented by the special atom "t".
4. Spoken in reply to a question, particularly one asked using the "-P" convention it means "No". Most hackers assume this derives simply from LISP, but NIL meaning "no" was well-established among radio hams decades before LISP existed. The historical connection between early hackerdom and the ham radio world was strong enough that this may have been an influence.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
nothing, I have nothing for you (shortwave transmission)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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