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Related to naught: nought, sought

(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: for, naught

come to naught

To be totally unsuccessful or amount to nothing. Our efforts to keep the farm came to naught in the end. All those hours I spent researching my graduate thesis have come to naught.
See also: come, naught, to

come to nothing

To result in no tangible or appreciable difference; to fail. Well, all of our efforts came to nothing in the end, really. The bank decided to foreclose on us regardless of the money we raised.
See also: come, nothing, to

set at naught

dated To disregard or scorn something; to treat something as unworthy of respect or consideration. A noun or pronoun can be used between "set" and "at." The government has made clear that it is willing to set at naught the will of the people to further its own agenda. This issue could be the undoing of our company, yet the board of directors seem to have set it to naught.
See also: naught, set
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come to nothing

 and come to naught
to amount to nothing; to be worthless. So all my hard work comes to nothing. Yes, the whole project comes to naught.
See also: come, nothing, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

come to nothing

Also, come to naught. Fail, as in All his efforts have come to nothing, or The last round of peace talks came to naught. The first term dates from the mid-1500s, the variant from the early 1600s.
See also: come, nothing, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

come to ˈnothing


not ˈcome to anything/much

not have a successful result: The latest attempt to end the dispute came to nothing.They had a scheme for making a lot of money quickly, but it never came to anything.
See also: come, nothing, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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, for, naught
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
'I tell you naught for your comfort, Yea, naught for your desire, Save the sky grows darker yet, And the sea rises higher'.
Join Naught at his book launch which is being offered at two locations the week the book comes out.
He also debunked the theory of spontaneous generation--the ancient belief that living things could grow from naught.
Extravagance for naught? Hector Ochoa, owner of the San Pedro de Atacama-based Ochoa Turismo travel agency, believes such extravagance may be for naught since the city's already-anemic tourism has tailed off in recent years, amounting to only 4,000 visitors in 1998.
Opener Matthew Elliott (55 not out) benefited from three dropped catches while Mark Waugh (26 not out) was dropped on naught.
for not.'" Observes Ritchie, "The time he spent in English class must have been all for not!" Needed is noun naught.
From it descends today's more styled, mannered, groomed cultural critique, either self-righteous or naught, too much of which is sophomoric in the very criticality that is supposed to be its strength.
No PGS workers ever devised a consistently radical politics, he argues, to challenge the industrial elite, and efforts to republicanize the workplace came to naught. Instead, drawn to the burgeoning nationalist right spawned by the Dreyfus Affair, workers were only rescued when the PGS charter was not renewed and the company liquidated in 1907, "a victim ...
Kennedy wooed Nasser, but for naught. Nasser's invasion of Yemen in 1962 threatened American interests in Saudi stability, and the use of chemical weaponry and attacks on Saudi outposts by Nasser's forces did not go down well at the White House.
Along the way, it has blazed quite a path for itself, working from a phrase that gave the show its title: "There's naught so queer as folk." It's a Yorkshire phrase, and I have a hard time understanding Yorkshire dialects or even Yorkshire terriers, but it means that of the many strange things on the planet, nothing is stranger than the planet's people.
So Zedillo's plan might still come to naught, and Mexico's electricity supply will likely remain one of the great question marks hanging over the country's industrial future.
Now it appears that the matter is naught but a cyclone in a samovar: Ms.
But if the organs harvested from a cadaver cannot be preserved long enough or well enough to be successfully transported and transplanted to a recipient, all will be for naught.
And the manipulation and transformation of motives that one might expect from a veteran film composer went for naught here.
Naughts are nothing, the lowest class, as pale in society as their white skin.