The Collaborative International Dictionary
Naught \Naught\ (n[add]t), n. [OE. naught, nought, naht, nawiht, AS. n[=a]wiht, n[=a]uht, n[=a]ht; ne not + [=a] ever + wiht thing, whit; hence, not ever a whit. See No, adv. Whit, and cf. Aught, Not.]
Nothing. [Written also nought.]
Doth Job fear God for naught?
--Job i. 9.
The arithmetical character 0; a cipher. See Cipher.
To set at naught, to treat as of no account; to disregard; to despise; to defy; to treat with ignominy. ``Ye have set at naught all my counsel.''
--Prov. i. 25.
1 (context obsolete English) Good for nothing; worthless. 2 wicked, immoral. adv. 1 To no extent; in no way; not at all. 2 not. n. 1 nothing; something which does not exist. 2 A thing or person of no worth or value; nil. 3 Not any quantity of number; zero; the score of no points in a game. 4 The figure or character representing, or having the shape of, zero. pron. Nothing; zero. v
To abase, to set at nought.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
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.
Usage examples of "nought".
Yet a little further, and it grew lighter still, and he heard the throstles singing a little way off, and knew that they were on the edge of the pine-wood, and still her swift feet sped on till they came to a little grassy wood-lawn, with nought anear it on the side away from the wood save maples and thorn-bushes: it was broad daylight there, though the sun had not yet arisen.
That I must die here at your foot anon, Nought would I tell how me is woebegone.
On the other hand, they are the sorriest archers that I have ever seen, and cannot so much as aim with the arbalest, to say nought of the long-bow.
Almeryl stretched his arm to the lattice, and drew it open, letting in the soft night wind, and the sound of the fountain and the bulbul and the beam of the stars, and versed to her in the languor of deep love: Whether we die or we live, Matters it now no more: Life has nought further to give: Love is its crown and its core.
Then nought would do but he must say farewell to several of the children who had become especial favorites: the Dalt boy and Lady Blackmonts brood and the round-faced orphan girl whose father had sold cloth and spices up and down the Greenblood.
But bycause the name of this boke semeth to the redar to procede of derysion: and by that mean that the substance therof shulde nat be profitable: I wyl aduertise you that this Boke is named the Shyp of foles of the worlde: For this worlde is nought els but a tempestous se in the whiche we dayly wander and are caste in dyuers tribulacions paynes and aduersitees: some by ignoraunce and some by wilfulnes: wherfore suche doers ar worthy to be called foles.
Ralph said nought, but waxed shamefaced as he deemed that the priest eyed him curiously.
Burg were upon us, and deemed that there was nought for it but to flee each as far and as fast as he might.
It has always been my opinion that when a man sets himself determinedly to do something, and thinks of nought but his design, he must succeed despite all difficulties in his path: such an one may make himself Pope or Grand Vizier, he may overturn an ancient line of kings--provided that he knows how to seize on his opportunity, and be a man of wit and pertinacity.
All your carefully built networks of power will be for nought if The Dolman cannot be stopped.
Nought but sublimate and crude mercury, sir, well prepared and dulcified, with the jaw-bones of a sow, burnt, beaten, and searced.
Nought recked you Of throne-succession or dynastic lines When gloriously engaged in Italy!
The rosy buds all gone brown and spread out blobs and on the hills nought but dry flag and faggots that would catch at first fire.
If she had taken offense she would not have come to see me any more, and I should have had nought to complain of.
Then all the people from the battlement Beheld what dreadful things Achilles wrought, For on the body his revenge he spent, The anger of the high Gods heeding nought, To whom was Hector dearest, while he fought, Of all the Trojan men that were their joy, But now no more their favour might be bought By savour of his hecatombs in Troy.