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naught

or nought

[nawt] /nɔt/
noun
1.
2.
a cipher (0); zero.
adjective
3.
lost; ruined.
4.
Archaic. worthless; useless.
5.
Obsolete. morally bad; wicked.
adverb
6.
Obsolete, not.
Idioms
7.
come to naught, to come to nothing; be without result or fruition; fail.
8.
set at naught, to regard or treat as of no importance; disdain:
He entered a milieu that set his ideals at naught.
Origin of naught
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English nauht, nāwiht ( no1 + wiht thing). See nought, wight1, whit
Can be confused
naught, nought.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for naught
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Betsy: In Clovelly there are naught but cabins pitched upon a hill, and ladders to a loft.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • Of that performance let naught be spoken, save in reverence.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • There is naught like universal co-operation to promote universal achievement.

    Health, Happiness, and Longevity Louis Philippe McCarty
  • I mind the time when her yellow arms were naught but bone and parchment.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • There was naught for it, therefore, but to show the papers and to turn a harsh face on the messenger.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for naught

naught

/nɔːt/
noun
1.
(archaic or literary) nothing or nothingness; ruin or failure
2.
a variant spelling (esp US) of nought
3.
set at naught, to have disregard or scorn for; disdain
adverb
4.
(archaic or literary) not at all: it matters naught
adjective
5.
(obsolete) worthless, ruined, or wicked
Word Origin
Old English nāwiht, from no1 + wiht thing, person; see wight1, whit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for naught
n.

Old English nawiht "nothing," lit "no whit," from na "no" (from PIE root *ne- "no, not;" see un- (1)) + wiht "thing, creature, being" (see wight). Cognate with Old Saxon neowiht "nothing," Old High German niwiht, Gothic ni waihts. It also developed an adjectival sense in Old English, "good for nothing," which by mid-16c. had focused to "morally bad, wicked." In arithmetic, "the figure zero" from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with naught
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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10
12
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