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nihil (countable and uncountable, plural nihils)

  1. (countable, law) A nihil dicit.
  2. (uncountable, chiefly philosophy) nothingness, nonbeing
    • 1996, David Tibet, “The Starres Are Marching Sadly Home (Theinmostlightthirdandfinal)” (lyrics):
      I shall no longer believe all the visions of my youth:
      They have dissolved into nihil.
    • 2008, Arvydas Šliogeris, Names of Nihil, page 13:
      All tales about the beginning are apt to eliminate the nothing and make being overall. [] Without Nihil the whirlpool of the beginning settles down and becomes a stagnant puddle of pure being. Nihil disappears.
    • 2009, Walter Brueggemann, An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible, page 143:
      That is, in the sovereign act of creation, whereby YHWH orders chaos, YHWH provisionally defeated the power of the Nihil but did not destroy or eliminate the threat of chaos.





  1. (indefinite) The absence of anything; nothing.



From nihilum, from ne- (not) +‎ hīlum (the least bit).

Alternative forms[edit]



nihil n sg (indeclinable, no genitive)

  1. indefinite nothing
    Nīl·ne in mentem·st?Cannot you think of anything?
    Nihil est.It's nothing/It doesn't matter.
    Nihil novī sub sōle.Nothing new under the sun (proverb).


Not declined; used only in the nominative and accusative singular., singular only.

Case Singular
Nominative nihil
Accusative nihil

However, the genitive nihilī and the ablative nihilō (from nihilum) sometimes do occur.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • nihil in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • nihil in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • nihil in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • nihil in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • I cannot wait till..: nihil mihi longius est or videtur quam dum or quam ut
    • nothing is more tiresome to me than..: nihil mihi longius est quam (c. Inf.)
    • a wise man is in no way affected by this: hoc nihil ad sapientem pertinet
    • to live a life free from all misfortune: nihil calamitatis (in vita) videre
    • to afford no consolation: nihil habere consolationis
    • to considerably (in no way) further the common good: multum (nihil) ad communem utilitatem afferre
    • I will refuse you nothing: nihil tibi a me postulanti recusabo
    • not to trouble oneself about a thing: nihil omnino curare
    • there is nothing I am more interested in than..: nihil antiquius or prius habeo quam ut (nihil mihi antiquius or potius est, quam ut)
    • to live as scrupulously moral a life as ever: nihil ex pristina virtute remittere
    • to do no business with a man: nihil cum aliquo contrahere
    • not to mention..: ut non (nihil) dicam de...
    • but this is not to the point: sed hoc nihil (sane) ad rem
    • there is something in what you say; you are more or less right: aliquid (τι) dicis (opp. nihil dicis)


Malay cardinal numbers
0 1  > 
    Cardinal : nihil

Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin nihil.



nihil (Jawi spelling نيهيل)

  1. zero