Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • pro. No thing; not anything: The box contained nothing. I've heard nothing about it.
  • pro. No part; no portion: Nothing remains of the old house but the cellar hole.
  • pro. One of no consequence, significance, or interest: The new nonsmoking policy is nothing to me.
  • n. Something that has no existence.
  • n. Something that has no quantitative value; zero: a score of two to nothing.
  • n. One that has no substance or importance; a nonentity: "A nothing is a dreadful thing to hold onto” ( Edna O'Brien).
  • adj. Insignificant or worthless: "the utterly nothing role of a wealthy suitor” ( Bosley Crowther).
  • adv. In no way or degree; not at all: She looks nothing like her sister.
  • idiom for nothing Free of charge.
  • idiom for nothing To no avail: all that trouble for nothing.
  • idiom for nothing For no reason: fired him for nothing.
  • idiom in nothing flat In very little time; very quickly.
  • idiom nothing doing Informal Certainly not.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • pro. Not any thing; no thing.
  • pro. An absence of anything, including empty space, brightness, darkness, matter, or a vacuum.
  • pro. Anything
  • n. Something trifling, or of no consequence or importance
  • n. A trivial remark (especially in the term sweet nothings)
  • n. A nobody (insignificant person)
  • adv. Not at all; in no way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Not anything; no thing (in the widest sense of the word thing); -- opposed to anything and something.
  • n. Nonexistence; nonentity; absence of being; nihility; nothingness.
  • n. A thing of no account, value, or note; something irrelevant and impertinent; something of comparative unimportance; utter insignificance; a trifle.
  • n. A cipher; naught.
  • adv. In no degree; not at all; in no wise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. No thing; not anything; not something; something that is not anything.
  • n. A non-existent something, spoken of positively, so that the literal meaning is absurd.
  • n. Not something. In this sense the word is more distinctly no thing; and the sentence containing nothing merely contradicts a corresponding sentence containing something in place of nothing.
  • n. A cipher; naught.
  • n. A thing of no consequence, consideration, or importance; a trifle.
  • In no degree; not at all; in no way; not.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a quantity of no importance
  • adv. in no respect; to no degree

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English nāthing : , no; see no2 + thing, thing; see thing.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
no +‎ thing (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But nothing, absolutely *nothing* about Crowe's character throughout the movie convinced me that he was the person who would, at the very last minute, turn on a dime, shoot down his own gang and then throw himself in jail out of some weird sense of nobility.

    3:10 to Yuma

  • Their music makes me feel so good that I did exercise to it, and nothing, *nothing* makes me want to do exercise.

    12th January '03

  • However, upon reading further I discovered Joe ¨don´t know nothing about nothing¨ Lelyveld will return.

    Eschaton

  • He had a job to do and nothing, _nothing, would keep him from doing it to the best of his ability.

    Sweet Anger

  • But until that day I will have nothing to do with you, _nothing_.

    Leonie of the Jungle

  • It informs us in all the duties of life, piety to our parents, faith to our friends, charity to the miserable, judgment in counsel; it gives us _peace_, by _fearing_ nothing, and _riches_, by _coveting nothing_.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • "Cuthbert is nothing to me -- _nothing_ -- compared with you, Wyvis."

    A True Friend A Novel

  • Mr. Ruskin bade men "go to Nature in all singleness of heart, and walk with her laboriously and trustingly, having no other thought but how best to penetrate her meaning, _rejecting nothing, selecting nothing and scorning nothing_;" and Mr. Hamerton was literally obeying him when he exiled himself for five years in a hut on an island in a bleak Scotch lake to learn faithfully to portray the shores of that single lake.

    Lippincott's Magazine, December 1878

  • In fine, The Gentry are very Rich, live of all Men the most careless and contented Lives, keeping the Poor as Drudges and Slaves for them; and as it is said of the Tyrant _Polycrates_, _Have nothing to trouble them, but that they are troubled with nothing_.

    The School of Recreation (1684 edition) Or, The Gentlemans Tutor, to those Most Ingenious Exercises of Hunting, Racing, Hawking, Riding, Cock-fighting, Fowling, Fishing

  • That is the sting of it, that in the vast drifting of the cosmic weather, though many a jewelled shore appears, and many an enchanted cloud-bank floats away, long lingering ere it be dissolved -- even as our world now lingers for our joy -- yet when these transient products are gone, nothing, absolutely _nothing_ remains.

    Human Traits and their Social Significance

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • not-hing(e) and/or no-thing and/or noth-ing?

    May 25, 2012

  • I like to see your reactions here, people here, to my observation that it does not seem the word nothing is clear enough when everything that exists is something.

    Have you not seen how nothing is being compromised by science writers to the effect that it is no longer nothing but only the psychology of nothing, for it is now more and more something instead of the literal nothing, with some very highly acclaimed science writers.

    May 25, 2012

  • I'm already getting nothing done. Will this app improve my productivity?

    November 28, 2010

  • The app is called "Nothing".

    November 28, 2010