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(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
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.
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.
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.
come to nothingand 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.
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.
come to ˈnothing,
not ˈcome to anything/muchnot 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.
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.”