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naught

[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.
Also, nought.
Origin
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for naught
  • Sometimes those things don't even appear and you are worrying for naught.
  • Indeed, for all the reformists' brave vows, their promised showdowns have all come to naught.
  • These set off a storm in the academic community, and they come to naught.
  • But his boldness will come to naught if it is not followed up by efficient execution.
  • It seems that all the efforts of those so-called peace makers will have been for naught.
  • Club has had before it all sorts of plans and numerous sites were looked over, but the efforts of the committee came to naught.
  • But without physical evidence these claims came to naught.
  • Tie your string well, or ill, and its length counts for naught.
  • So far, it appears that their efforts have come to naught.
  • So far, those diplomatic efforts have come to naught.
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

nought

/nɔːt/
noun
1.
the digit 0; zero: used esp in counting or numbering
noun, adjective, adverb
2.
a variant spelling of naught
Word Origin
Old English nōwiht, from ne not, no + ōwiht something; see 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
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