- No one; not one; nobody: None dared to do it.
- Not any: None of my classmates survived the war.
- No part; not any: none of your business.
- Not at all: He is none too ill.
- In no way: The jeans looked none the better for having been washed.
Origin of none
Middle English from
Old English nān ne no, not
; see ne
in Indo-European roots. ān one
; see oi-no-
in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: It is widely asserted that none is equivalent to no one, and hence requires a singular verb and singular pronoun: None of the prisoners was given his soup. It is true that none is etymologically derived from the Old English word ān, “one,” but the word has been used as both a singular and a plural since the ninth century. The plural usage appears in the King James Bible ( “All the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold … none were of silver” ) as well as the works of canonical writers like Shakespeare, John Dryden, and Edmund Burke. It is widespread in the works of respectable writers today. Of course, the singular usage is perfectly acceptable. Choosing between singular or plural is thus more of a stylistic matter than a grammatical one. Both options are acceptable in this sentence: None of the conspirators has (or have ) been brought to trial. When none is modified by almost, however, it is difficult to avoid treating the word as a plural: Almost none of the officials were (not was ) interviewed by the committee. None is most often treated as plural in its use in sentences such as None but his most loyal supporters believe (not believes ) his story. See Usage Note at every. See Usage Note at neither. See Usage Note at nothing.
- Not any (one) of a given number or group of things. With singular or plural concord.
- Not any person: no one, nobody (with singular concord); no people (with plural concord).
Although uncountable nouns require none to be conjugated with a singular verb, e.g., None of this meat tastes right, the pronoun can be either singular or plural in most other cases, e.g., Fifty people applied for the position, but none were accepted., and None was qualified.
However, where the given or implied context is clearly singular or plural, then a matching verb makes better sense:
- None of these men is my father.
- None of those options is the best one.
- None of these people are my parents.
- (now archaic except Scotland) Not any; no.
- To no extent, in no way. [from 11th c.]
- I felt none the worse for my recent illness.
- He was none too pleased with the delays in the program that was supposed to be his legacy.
- Not at all. [from 13th c.]
- Now don't you worry none.
- A person without religious affiliation.
From Middle English none, noon, non (“not one"), from Old English nÄn (“not one, not any, none"), from ne (“not") + Än (“one"). Cognate with Scots nane (“none"), West Frisian neen & gjin (“no, none"), Dutch neen & geen (“no, none"), Low German nÄ“n, neen (“none, no one"), German nein & kein (“no, none"), Latin nÅn (“not").
Pronoun See also: noone
- Obsolete form of no one.