Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English aught, ought, from Old English āht, from ā ‎(always", "ever) + wiht ‎(thing", "creature). More at aye, wight.

Alternative formsEdit



  1. anything whatever, any part.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London, Oxford University Press, 1973. § 29.
      to other objects, which for aught we know, may be only in appearance similar
    • Addison
      But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, chapter 5
      His life among these fierce apes had been happy; for his recollection held no other life, nor did he know that there existed within the universe aught else than his little forest and the wild jungle animals with which he was familiar.
    • 1977: J. R. R. Tolkien, Silmarillion, Ainulindalë
      There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.

Etymology 2Edit

Use for "zero" by confusion with naught. Used amongst those which were once called "non-U" speakers of English.


aught ‎(plural aughts)

  1. whit, the smallest part, iota.
  2. (archaic) zero
  3. The digit zero as the decade in years. For example, aught-nine for 1909 or 2009.
Usage notesEdit

The use of "aught" and "ought" to mean "zero" is very much proscribed as the word "aught" actually means the opposite of "naught": "anything". This may be due to misanalysis, or may simply be the result of unknowing speakers confusing the meanings of "aught" and "naught" for some odd reason.

See alsoEdit


aught ‎(not comparable)

  1. (archaic) At all, in any degree, in any respect.


Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English aught, ought, from Old English ǣht, from āgan ‎(to owe", "to own)

Alternative formsEdit


aught ‎(plural aughts)

  1. Property; possession
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
  2. Duty; place; office


aught ‎(third-person singular simple present aughts, present participle aughting, simple past and past participle aughted)

  1. to own, possess
  2. to owe, be obliged or obligated to


aught ‎(comparative more aught, superlative most aught)

  1. possessed of

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English ahte, from Old English eahta ‎(eight). More at eight.



  1. Obsolete or dialectal form of eight.
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