- No thing; not anything: The box contained nothing. I've heard nothing about it.
- No part; no portion: Nothing remains of the old house but the cellar hole.
- One of no consequence, significance, or interest: The new nonsmoking policy is nothing to me.
- Something that has no existence.
- Something that has no quantitative value; zero: a score of two to nothing.
- One that has no substance or importance; a nonentity: “A nothing is a dreadful thing to hold onto” ( Edna O'Brien )
Insignificant or worthless: “the utterly nothing role of a wealthy suitor” ( Bosley Crowther )
In no way or degree; not at all: She looks nothing like her sister.
Origin of nothing
Middle English from
Old English nāthing nā no
; see no 2
. thing thing
; see thing
Usage Note: According to the traditional rule, nothing should always be treated as a singular, even when followed by an exception phrase containing a plural noun: Nothing except your fears stands (not stand ) in your way. Nothing but roses meets (not meet ) the eye. • But there are certain contexts in which nothing but sounds quite natural with a plural verb and should not be considered inappropriate. In these sentences, constructions like nothing but function much like an adverb meaning “only,” in a pattern similar to one seen in none but: “Sometimes, for a couple of hours together, there were almost no houses; there were nothing but woods and rivers and lakes and horizons adorned with bright-looking mountains” Henry JamesNote that the construction is sometimes used in the predicate following a form of the verb be to emphasize equivalence with the subject, even when plural: “Years of selective breeding have produced turkeys that are nothing but cooking pouches with legs” Garrison Keillor See Usage Note at none.
- Not any thing; no thing.
- An absence of anything, including empty space, brightness, darkness, matter, or a vacuum.
- (slang, in double negatives) Anything
- I didn't see nothing. [= I didn't see anything].
- Something trifling, or of no consequence or importance.
- What happened to your face? "” It's nothing.
- A trivial remark (especially in the term sweet nothings).
- A nobody (insignificant person).
- You're nothing to me now!
- (archaic) Not at all; in no way.
terms etymologically related to the pronoun, noun, or adverb nothing