Origin of noughtMiddle English ; from Old English nowiht ; from ne, not (see no) + owiht, awiht, aught
- Arith. the figure zero (0)
(third-person singular simple present noughts, present participle noughting, simple past and past participle noughted)
- To abase, to set at nought.
- Nothing; zero.
Middle English noght, from Old English nÅwiht, which in turn comes from ne-Å-wiht which was a phrase used as an emphatic no meaning "not a thing". Eventually this degenerated into 'nought', 'nawt' and then 'not'.