no thing; not anything; naught: to say nothing.
no part, share, or trace (usually followed by of ): The house showed nothing of its former magnificence.
something that is nonexistent.
nonexistence; nothingness: The sound faded to nothing.
something or someone of no importance or significance: Money is nothing when you're without health.
a trivial action, matter, circumstance, thing, or remark: to exchange a few nothings when being introduced.
a person of little or no importance; a nobody.
something that is without quantity or magnitude.
a cipher or naught: Nothing from nine leaves nine.
(used in conventional responses to expressions of thanks): Think nothing of it. It's nothing. Nothing to it.
in no respect or degree; not at all: It was nothing like that. Nothing dismayed, he repeated his question.
amounting to nothing, as in offering no prospects for satisfaction, advancement, or the like: She was stuck in a nothing job.
for nothing,
free of charge.
for no apparent reason or motive.
futilely; to no avail: They had gone to a great deal of expense for nothing.
in nothing flat, in very little time: Dinner was finished in nothing flat.
make nothing of,
to treat lightly; regard as easy.
to be unsuccessful in comprehending: He could make nothing of the complicated directions.
nothing but, nothing other than; only: We could see nothing but fog.
nothing doing,
Informal. emphatically no; certainly not.
no activity, inducement, advantage, etc., present to the eye: We drove through the town but there seemed to be nothing doing.
nothing less than/short of, absolutely; completely: She was used to nothing less than the best.
think nothing of,
to treat casually.
to regard as insignificant: He thinks nothing of lying to conceal his incompetence.

before 900; Middle English; Old English nānthing, nathing; see no2, thing1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To nothing
World English Dictionary
nothing (ˈnʌθɪŋ)
1.  (indefinite) no thing; not anything, as of an implied or specified class of things: I can give you nothing
2.  no part or share: to have nothing to do with this crime
3.  a matter of no importance or significance: it doesn't matter, it's nothing
4.  indicating the absence of anything perceptible; nothingness
5.  indicating the absence of meaning, value, worth, etc: to amount to nothing
6.  zero quantity; nought
7.  be nothing to
 a.  not to concern or be significant to (someone)
 b.  to be not nearly as good as
8.  have nothing to do with, be nothing to do with to have no connection with
9.  have nothing on, have got nothing on
 a.  to have no engagements to keep
 b.  to be undressed or naked
 c.  informal to compare unfavourably with
10.  informal in nothing flat in almost no time; very quickly or soon
11.  nothing but not something other than; only
12.  informal nothing doing an expression of dismissal, disapproval, lack of compliance with a request, etc
13.  nothing if not at the very least; certainly
14.  nothing less than, nothing short of downright; truly
15.  there's nothing for it there's no choice; there's no other course
16.  there's nothing like a general expression of praise: there's nothing like a good cup of tea
17.  there's nothing to it it is very simple, easy, etc
18.  think nothing of
 a.  to regard as routine, easy, or natural
 b.  to have no compunction or hesitation about
 c.  to have a very low opinion of
19.  to say nothing of as well as; even disregarding: he was warmly dressed in a shirt and heavy jumper, to say nothing of his thick overcoat
20.  stop at nothing to be prepared to do anything; be unscrupulous or ruthless
21.  in no way; not at all: he looked nothing like his brother
22.  informal a person or thing of no importance or significance
23.  sweet nothings words of endearment or affection
usage  Nothing normally takes a singular verb, but when nothing but is followed by a plural form of a noun, a plural verb is usually used: it was a large room where nothing but souvenirs were sold

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

O.E. naþing, from nan "not one" (see none) + þing "thing." Nothingness "non-existence" first recorded c.1631.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with nothing, also see come to nothing; count for (nothing); go for nothing; have nothing on; have nothing to do with; here goes (nothing); in no time (nothing flat); leave a lot (nothing) to be desired; make nothing of; make something of (nothing); much ado about nothing; not know beans (from nothing); not to mention (say nothing of); stop at nothing; sweet nothings; think nothing of; want for nothing.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
There was nothing there.
Should I do nothing?
All that panic for nothing.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature