• Is null only a computer science word?
  • Does nought refer to the digit only?
  • 1
    "Null" is a term of art in law, mathematics, and philosophy.
    – deadrat
    Jun 16, 2015 at 21:27
  • Null is not just a computer science word. It's used in other context, for instance the stock phrase "null and void" - meaning that the referrent no longer has any effect. Nor is NULL in CS necessarily zero: it's a pointer value that can't point to a valid address, so it could be implemented as e.g. all ones in binary - and that would be IMHO a lot more practical, since 0 is a valid address.
    – jamesqf
    Jun 16, 2015 at 21:29
  • 1
    And nought has many uses besides just for referring to the digit "0" (which specific usage is moreover alien to American English). See these in Shakespeare, for instance. Jun 16, 2015 at 21:31
  • 1
    "Null" is the German word for zero.. If your teacher, or his teacher, was Germain, you may use "null" for zero. "Nought" used for zero is more common in the UK than in the US.
    – GEdgar
    Jun 16, 2015 at 21:31
  • 1
    Nought is an old form of nothing and now can also refer to the digit (as does ought, even though it's not negative). Null and zero refer to the digit. Jun 16, 2015 at 23:24

1 Answer 1

  1. No.


  1. without consequence, value or significance
  2. being or amounting to nothing

Source: Dictionary.com

  1. Usually, yes. However, it can mean "nothing".

nought (US English naught)

  1. the number zero (0)
  2. nothing

Source: Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.