(all) for naught

(all) for naught

In vain; for nothing. Said of an effort that has resulted in failure. All of my hard work on that budget report was for naught when the computer system crashed.
See also: naught

all for naught

Everything done has been in vain. Today a poetic word for “nothing,” naught formerly meant “morally bad” or “worthless.” Thus the King James version of the first Book of Kings (2:19) says, “The water is naught and the ground barren.”
See also: all, naught
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