# Dictionary Definition

naught

### Noun

1 a quantity of no importance; "it looked like
nothing I had ever seen before"; "reduced to nil all the work we
had done"; "we racked up a pathetic goose egg"; "it was all for
naught"; "I didn't hear zilch about it" [syn: nothing, nil, nix, nada, null, aught, cipher, cypher, goose egg,
zero, zilch, zip]

2 complete failure; "all my efforts led to
naught"

# User Contributed Dictionary

## English

#### Homophones

- nod (in accents with flapping)
- not (in accents with the cot-caught merger)
- knot (in accents with the cot-caught merger)

### Noun

- zero
- Yet another naught on the scoreboard for the home team.

- nothing; nothingness
- Naught can come of this, you mark my words. ''

#### Alternative spellings

#### Translations

nothingness

### Pronoun

#### Translations

nothing

- German: nichts

### References

# Extensive Definition

0 (zero) is both a number and the numerical
digit used to represent that number in numerals. It plays a central
role in mathematics
as the additive
identity of the integers, real numbers,
and many other algebraic
structures. As a digit, zero is used as a placeholder in place value
systems. In the English
language, zero may also be called null or nil when a number,
"oh" (), "goose egg", or cipher (archaic) when a
numeral, and nought or naught in either context.

## 0 as a number

0 is the integer preceding 1. In most systems, 0 was identified before the idea of 'negative integers' was accepted. Zero is an even number. 0 is neither positive nor negative.Zero is a number which quantifies a count or an
amount of null size; that
is, if the number of your brothers is zero, that means the same
thing as having no brothers, and if something has a weight of zero,
it has no weight. If the difference between the number of pieces in
two piles is zero, it means the two piles have an equal number of
pieces. Before counting starts, the result can be assumed to be
zero; that is the number of items counted before you count the
first item and counting the first item brings the result to one.
And if there are no items to be counted, zero remains the final
result.

Almost all historians omit the year zero from
the
proleptic Gregorian and Julian
calendars, but astronomers include it in
these same calendars. However, the phrase
Year Zero may be used to describe any event considered so
significant that it serves as a new base point in time.

## 0 as a digit

The modern numerical digit 0 is usually written as a circle, an ellipse, or a rounded rectangle. In most modern typefaces, the height of the 0 character is the same as the other digits. However, in typefaces with text figures, the character is often less tall (x-height).On the seven-segment
displays of calculators, watches, and household appliances, 0
is usually written with six line segments, though on some
historical calculator models it was written with four line
segments.

The value, or number, zero is not the same as the
digit zero, used in numeral
systems using positional
notation. Successive positions of digits have higher weights,
so inside a numeral the digit zero is used to skip a position and
give appropriate weights to the preceding and following digits. A
zero digit is not always necessary in a positional number system,
for example, in the number 02.

### Distinguishing the digit 0 from the letter O

Traditionally, standard typewriters made no distinction in shape between the letter O and the digit 0; some models did not even have a separate key for the digit 0. The oval (i.e. narrower) digit 0 and more nearly circular letter O together came into prominence on modern character displays, though the distinction was already present in some print typefaces.The digit 0 with a dot in the centre seems to
have originated as an option on IBM 3270
displays. Its appearance has continued with the Windows
typeface Andalé
Mono. One variation used a short vertical bar instead of the
dot. This could be confused with the Greek
letter Theta on a badly
focused display, but in practice there was no confusion because
theta was not (then) a displayable character.

An alternative, the slashed zero
(looking similar to the letter O other than the slash), was
primarily used in hand-written coding sheets before transcription
to punched cards or tape, and is also used in old-style ASCII
graphic sets descended from the default typewheel on the ASR-33 Teletype. This form
is similar to the symbol \emptyset, or "∅" (Unicode character
U+2205), representing the empty set, as
well as to the letter Ø used in several
Scandinavian
languages. The convention that has the letter O with a slash
and the digit 0 without was advocated by SHARE, a prominent IBM
user group, and by a few other early mainframe makers; this is even
more problematic for Scandinavians
because it means two of their letters collide. Others advocated the
opposite convention, The Italian mathematician Fibonacci
(c.1170-1250), who grew up in Arab North Africa and is credited
with introducing the Hindu decimal system to Europe, used the term
zephyrum. This became zefiro in Italian,
which was contracted to zero in Venetian,
the modern English word.

As the Hindu decimal zero
and its new mathematics spread from the Arab world to Europe in the
Middle
Ages, words derived from sifr and zephyrus came to refer to
calculation, as well as to privileged knowledge and secret codes.
According to Ifrah, "in thirteenth-century Paris, a 'worthless
fellow' was called a "... cifre en algorisme", i.e., an
"arithmetical nothing"."

The Babylonian placeholder was not a true zero
because it was not used alone. Nor was it used at the end of a
number. Thus numbers like 2 and 120 (2×60), 3 and 180 (3×60), 4 and
240 (4×60), looked the same because the larger numbers lacked a
final sexagesimal placeholder. Only context could differentiate
them.

Records show that the ancient
Greeks seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number. They
asked themselves, "How can nothing be something?", leading to
philosophical and, by
the Medieval period, religious arguments about the nature and
existence of zero and the vacuum. The paradoxes
of Zeno of
Elea depend in large part on the uncertain interpretation of
zero.

The Indian scholar
Pingala
(circa 5th-2nd
century BC) used binary
numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter
equal in length to two short syllables), making it similar to
Morse
code. He and his contemporary Indian scholars used the Sanskrit word
śūnya to refer to zero or void.

### History of zero

The use of a blank on a counting board to represent 0 dated back in India to 4th century BC. The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar developed in south-central Mexico required the use of zero as a place-holder within its vigesimal (base-20) positional numeral system. Many different glyphs, including this partial quatrefoil—- In some countries, dialling 0 on a telephone places a call for operator assistance.
- In Braille, the numeral 0 has the same dot configuration as the letter J.
- DVDs that can be played in any region are sometimes referred to as being "region 0"
- In classical music, 0 is very rarely used as a number for a composition: Anton Bruckner wrote a Symphony No. 0 in D minor and a Symphony No. 00; Alfred Schnittke also wrote a Symphony No. 0.
- Roulette wheels usually feature a "0" space (and sometimes also a "00" space), whose presence is ignored when calculating payoffs (thereby allowing the house to win in the long run).
- A chronological prequel of a series may be numbered as 0.
- In Formula One, if the reigning World Champion no longer competes in Formula One in the year following their victory in the title race, 0 is given to one of the drivers of the team that the reigning champion won the title with. This happened in 1993 and 1994, with Damon Hill driving car 0, due to the reigning World Champion (Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost respectively) not competing in the championship.
- In the educational series Schoolhouse Rock!, the song My Hero, Zero is about the use of zero as a placeholder. The song explains that by appending zeroes to a number, it is multiplied by 10 for each one added. This enables mathematicians to create numbers as large as needed.

## Quotations

The importance of the creation of the zero mark
can never be exaggerated. This giving to airy nothing, not merely a
local habitation and a name, a picture, a symbol, but helpful
power, is the characteristic of the Hindu race from whence it
sprang. It is like coining the Nirvana into
dynamos. No single
mathematical creation has been more potent for the general on-go of
intelligence and power. G.B.
Halsted

Dividing by zero...allows you to prove,
mathematically, anything in the universe. You can prove that
1+1=42, and from there you can prove that J. Edgar Hoover is a
space alien, that William Shakespeare came from Uzbekistan, or even
that the sky is polka-dotted. (See appendix A for a proof that
Winston Churchill was a carrot.) Charles
Seife, from: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

...a profound and important idea which appears so
simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very
simplicity and the great ease which it lent to all computations put
our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions. Pierre-Simon
Laplace

The point about zero is that we do not need to
use it in the operations of daily life. No one goes out to buy zero
fish. It is in a way the most civilized of all the cardinals, and
its use is only forced on us by the needs of cultivated modes of
thought. Alfred
North Whitehead

...a fine and wonderful refuge of the divine
spirit--almost an amphibian between being and non-being. Gottfried
Leibniz

## Notes

## References

- Barrow, John D. (2001) The Book of Nothing, Vintage. ISBN 0-09-928845-1.
- Diehl, Richard A. (2004) The Olmecs: America's First Civilization, Thames & Hudson, London.
- Ifrah, Georges (2000) The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
- Kaplan, Robert (2000) The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Seife, Charles (2000) Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Penguin USA (Paper). ISBN 0-14-029647-6.

## See also

## External links

- A History of Zero
- Zero Saga
- The Discovery of the Zero
- The History of Algebra
- Why numbering should start at zero by Edsger Dijkstra
- "Zeroes" Song parody
- "My Hero Zero" Educational children's song

naught in Arabic: 0 (عدد)

naught in Bulgarian: Нула

naught in Catalan: Zero

naught in Czech: Nula

naught in Danish: 0 (tal)

naught in German: Null

naught in Estonian: Null

naught in Modern Greek (1453-): Μηδέν

naught in Spanish: Cero

naught in Esperanto: Nulo

naught in Basque: Zero

naught in Persian: ۰ (عدد)

naught in French: Zéro

naught in Friulian: 0 (numar)

naught in Galician: Cero

naught in Korean: 0

naught in Hindi: शून्य

naught in Ido: Zero

naught in Interlingua (International Auxiliary
Language Association): 0 (numero)

naught in Xhosa: Iqanda

naught in Icelandic: Núll

naught in Italian: Zero

naught in Hebrew: 0 (מספר)

naught in Georgian: ნული

naught in Kinyarwanda: Obusa

naught in Haitian: 0 (nonm)

naught in Kurdish: Sifir (hejmar)

naught in Latin: 0

naught in Latvian: Nulle

naught in Lithuanian: 0 (skaičius)

naught in Lombard: Nümar 0

naught in Hungarian: 0 (szám)

naught in Malayalam: പൂജ്യം

naught in Malay (macrolanguage): 0
(nombor)

naught in Dutch: 0 (getal)

naught in Dutch Low Saxon: 0 (getal)

naught in Newari: शून्य

naught in Japanese: 0

naught in Norwegian: Null

naught in Norwegian Nynorsk: 0

naught in Polish: 0 (liczba)

naught in Portuguese: Zero

naught in Romanian: 0 (cifră)

naught in Quechua: Ch'usaq yupay

naught in Russian: 0 (число)

naught in Simple English: Zero

naught in Slovak: 0 (číslo)

naught in Slovenian: 0

naught in Serbian: 0 (број)

naught in Finnish: 0 (luku)

naught in Swedish: 0 (tal)

naught in Tagalog: 0 (bilang)

naught in Telugu: సున్న

naught in Thai: 0

naught in Vietnamese: 0

naught in Turkish: Sıfır

naught in Ukrainian: 0 (число)

naught in Vlaams: 0 (getal)

naught in Wolof: Tus

naught in Yiddish: 0 (נומער)

naught in Contenese: 0

naught in Chinese: 0

# Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a little thing, aught, cipher, collapse, destruction, disaster, failure, goose egg, hardly
anything, inessential, insignificancy, marginal
matter, matter of indifference, mere nothing, minor matter,
nada, nichts, nihil, nihility, nil, nix, no great matter, no such thing,
nothing, nothing at all,
nothing in particular, nothing on earth, nothing to signify,
nothing whatever, nought,
nullity, ought, paltry affair, peu de
chose, rien du tout, ruin,
scarcely anything, technicality, thing of
naught, wind, zero, zilch