Definition of nil in English:


Line breaks: nil
Pronunciation: /nɪl


Nothing, especially as the score in certain games; zero: they beat us three-nil
More example sentences
  • They were winning by eight points to nil until Ronan Conway scored the only goal of the game well into injury time.
  • After the home side led at the break by a goal to nil, the visitors scored two early goals at the start of the second half to put them in the driving seat.
  • Vikings started strongly but were unable to convert and so the game was locked at nil all in the first half.
nothing, none;
nought, zero, 0;
Tennis love;
Cricket a duck;
Northern English nowt
informal zilch, nix, not a dicky bird
British informal damn all, (sweet) Fanny Adams, sweet F.A., not a sausage
North American informal zip, nada, a goose egg
British vulgar slang bugger all, sod all, fuck all
Computing null character
literary null
dated cipher
archaic naught


Back to top  
Non-existent: his chance of survival was virtually nil
More example sentences
  • Unlike losing golf balls, the chances of any further payments are virtually nil.
  • Like all ideas that involve huge spending today to save money tomorrow, it has been spent to nil effect.
  • There was nil wind on the ground, but I had a perfect two-stepper landing.


mid 19th century: from Latin, contraction of nihil 'nothing'.

Definition of nil in: