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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English nothyng, noon thing, non thing, na þing, nan thing, nan þing, from Old English nāþing, nān þing (nothing, literally not any thing), equivalent to no +‎ thing. Compare Old English nāwiht (nothing, literally no thing), Swedish ingenting (nothing, literally not any thing, no thing).


  • enPR: nŭth'ĭng, IPA(key): /ˈnʌθɪŋ/
  • (informal) IPA(key): [ˈnʌʔn̩]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: noth‧ing
  • Rhymes: -ʌθɪŋ


English Wikipedia has an article on:

nothing (indefinite pronoun)

  1. Not any thing; no thing.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby:
      the players see little or nothing of their cards at first starting
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XIX, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
    • 2013 July 19, Peter Wilby, “Finland spreads word on schools”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 30:
      Imagine a country where children do nothing but play until they start compulsory schooling at age seven. Then, without exception, they attend comprehensives until the age of 16. Charging school fees is illegal, and so is sorting pupils into ability groups by streaming or setting.
  2. An absence of anything, including empty space, brightness, darkness, matter, or a vacuum.


See Thesaurus:nothing




nothing (countable and uncountable, plural nothings)

  1. Something trifling, or of no consequence or importance.
    - What happened to your face?
    - It's nothing.
    • 1651–1653, Jer[emy] Taylor, ΕΝΙΑΥΤΟΣ [Eniautos]. A Course of Sermons for All the Sundays of the Year. [], 2nd edition, London: [] Richard Royston [], published 1655, →OCLC:
      Sermons are not like curious inquiries after new nothings, but pursuances of old truths.
    • 2003, Sonic Team USA, Sonic Heroes, Sega, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, level/area: Final Fortress:
      Knuckles: The Egg Carrier is nothing compared to this!
  2. A trivial remark especially in the term sweet nothings.
  3. A nobody (insignificant person).



nothing (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) Not at all; in no way.
    • 1855, The Ladies' Repository, volume 15, page 544:
      The answer was an impatient one—but, nothing daunted, he continued.
    • 1662, Thomas Salusbury, Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two World Systems:
      The Motion from London to Syria is as much as nothing; and nothing altereth the relation which is between them.


nothing (not comparable)

  1. Completely unimportant.
    Dallas scored on what had seemed until then like a nothing play.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from the pronoun, noun, or adverb nothing

Related terms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]