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nought

[nawt] /nɔt/
noun, adjective, adverb
1.
Origin of nought
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English nōht, contraction of nōwiht, equivalent to ne not + ōwiht aught1
Can be confused
naught, nought.

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
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 nought
Historical Examples
  • There is nought for him but possession; possession of the woman he seeks.

    In the Brooding Wild Ridgwell Cullum
  • Why should we tarry any longer to see everything moiled and set at nought?

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • His mother had not been among the huts where poor men lie for nought, and she saw at a glance what it was.

    Sir Tom Mrs. Oliphant
  • I said nought to him, for I trow thou wouldst not have him know thy plight!

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • I ha' been righteous tu, and I ha' begged, and I ha' prayed, and got nought.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • He took sabbatarianism as a type of the things that should be set at nought.

    De Profundis Oscar Wilde
  • The sub-damsel looked set down for a minute, but nought ever daunted her for long.

    In Convent Walls Emily Sarah Holt
  • Sink me, if they shall fight with nought but cold water in them.'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • For seven days, nought but unbridled gayety prevailed in Siegmund's halls.

    The Story of Siegfried James Baldwin
  • She then takes me to task for using the word "ought" instead of "nought."

    A Tangled Tale Lewis Carroll
British Dictionary definitions for nought

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

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 nought
n.

Old English nowiht "nothing," variant of nawiht (see naught). Meaning "zero, cipher" is from early 15c. Expression for nought "in vain" is late 13c. To come to nought is from 1590s.

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 nought
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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