(Arith.) A cipher; nothing; naught. [1913
Webster]

The point from which the graduation of a scale,
as of a thermometer, commences. [1913 Webster] Note: Zero in the
Centigrade, or Celsius thermometer, and in the R['e]aumur
thermometer, is at the point at which water congeals. The zero of
the Fahrenheit thermometer is fixed at the point at which the
mercury stands when immersed in a mixture of snow and common salt.
In Wedgwood's pyrometer, the zero corresponds with 1077[deg] on the
Fahrenheit scale. See Illust. of Thermometer. [1913
Webster]

Fig.: The lowest point; the point of exhaustion;
as, his patience had nearly reached zero. [1913 Webster] Absolute
zero. See under Absolute. Zero method
(Physics), a method of comparing, or measuring, forces, electric
currents, etc., by so opposing them that the pointer of an
indicating apparatus, or the needle of a galvanometer, remains at,
or is brought to, zero, as contrasted with methods in which the
deflection is observed directly; -- called also null method.
Zero
point, the point indicating zero, or the commencement of a
scale or reckoning. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

# Word Net

zero adj1 indicating the absence of any or all units
under consideration; "a zero score" [syn: 0]

2 indicating an initial point or origin

3 of or relating to the null set (a set with no
members)

4 having no measurable or otherwise determinable
value; "the goal is zero population growth" [syn: zero(a)]

### Noun

1 a quantity of no importance; "it looked like
nothing I had ever seen before"; "reduced to nil all the work we
had done"; "we racked up a pathetic goose egg"; "it was all for
naught"; "I didn't hear zilch about it" [syn: nothing, nil, nix, nada, null, aught, cipher, cypher, goose egg,
naught, zilch, zip]

2 a mathematical element that when added to
another number yields the same number [syn: 0, nought, cipher, cypher]

3 the quantity that registers a reading of zero
on a scale [syn: zero
point]

### Verb

1 adjust (an instrument or device) to zero
value

2 adjust (as by firing under test conditions) the
zero of (a gun); "He zeroed in his rifle at 200 yards" [syn:
zero in]
[also: zeroes (pl)]

# Moby Thesaurus

absolute zero, aught, blank, boiling point, cipher, concentrate on, dew point, duck, dud, dummy, fix on, focus on, freezing point, goose egg, hollow man, home in on, insignificancy, jackstraw, lay figure, man of straw, melting point, nada, nadir, naught, nebbish, nichts, nihil, nil, nix, no such thing, nobody, nonentity, nothing, nothing at all, nothing on earth, nothing whatever, nought, null, nullity, pinpoint, puppet, pushover, recalescence point, rock bottom, temperature, thing of naught, trifle, void, whiffet, whippersnapper, zero in on, zilch# English

## Etymology

From zéro, from zero, from zephirum, from صفر.## Cardinal number

zero- The cardinal
number occurring before one and that denotes no quantity or amount at all,
represented in Arabic
numerals as 0.
- The conductor waited until the passenger count was zero.
- A cheque for zero dollars and zero cents crashed the computers on division by zero.

### Usage notes

In an adjectival sense, used with the plural of a countable noun:- I have zero dollars and zero food.

### Related terms

### Translations

cardinal number before one, denoting nothing

- Arabic: (numeral: )
- Assamese: সূঞ (suunya)
- Bengali: শুন (shuna) (numeral: ০)
- Bosnian: nula
- Breton: mann, zero
- Bulgarian: нула
- trreq Burmese: (numeral: ၀)
- Catalan: zero
- Chinese: 零 (líng)
(numeral: 〇, 零)
- Teochew: kang3, leng5

- Corsican: zeru
- Crimean Tatar: sıfır
- Croatian: nula
- Czech: nula
- Danish: nul
- Dutch: nul
- Esperanto: nulo
- Estonian: null
- Filipino: sero
- Finnish: nolla
- French: zéro
- German: Null
- Greek: μηδέν (midén)
- Gujarati: મીંડું (miidu) (numeral: ૦)
- Hebrew: אֶפֶס (éffes)
- Hindi: शून्य (śūnya) (numeral: ०)
- Hungarian: nulla, zéró
- Icelandic: núll
- Indonesian: nol
- Interlingua: zero
- Irish: neamhní, nialas
- Italian: zero
- Japanese: 〇 (まる, maru), ○ (まる, maru), 無 (む, mu), 零 (れい, rei), 零点 (れいてん, reiten), ゼロ (zéro)
- trreq Kannada: (numeral: ೦)
- Khmer: (sōn) (numeral: )
- Korean: 영 [零] (yeong)
- Kurdish: sifir
- trreq Lao: (numeral: )
- Latvian: nulle
- Lojban: no
- trreq Malayalam: (numeral: ൦)
- Maltese: żero
- Manx: neunhee
- trreq Mongolian: (numeral: ᠐)
- Norwegian: null
- Novial: sero, zero
- trreq Oriya: (numeral: ୦)
- Persian: (sefr) (numeral: )
- Polish: zero
- Portuguese: zero
- trreq Punjabi: (numeral: ੦)
- Romanian: zero
- Russian: нуль (nul’)
- Sanskrit: शुञ (shunya)
- Serbian: нула
- Sindhi: (buri)
- Slovak: nula
- Slovene: nič
- Slovio: nul
- Spanish: cero
- Swedish: noll
- Tatar: ноль, nol
- trreq Telugu: (numeral: ౦)
- Thai: (súún) (numeral: )
- trreq Tibetan: (numeral: ༠)
- Turkish: sıfır
- Ukrainian: зеро (zero)
- Vietnamese: số không, zêrô
- Võro: nulĺ
- West Frisian: nul

## Noun

- The numeric symbol that represents the
cardinal number zero.
- In unary and k-adic notation in general, zero is the empty string.
- Write 0.0 to indicate a floating point rather than the integer zero.
- The zero sign in American Sign Language is considered rude in some cultures.

- The digit 0 in the decimal, binary, and all other base numbering systems.
- One million has six zeros.

- In the context of "informal|uncountable": Nothing; nought; an amount or degree that
is for practical purposes irrelevant.
- The shipment was lost, so they had zero in stock.
- He knows zero about humor.
- In the end, all our hard work amounted to zero.

- A zero value of a magnitude.
- The electromagnetic field does not drop all the way to zero before a reversal.

- A point on a scale at which numbering or measurement
originates.
- The temperature outside is ten degrees below zero.

- A value of a function’s independent
variables for which the function is equal to zero.
- The zeros of a polynomial are its roots by the fundamental theorem of algebra.
- The derivative of a continuous, differentiable function that twice crosses the axis must have a zero.
- The nontrivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function may all lie on the critical line.

- The additive
identity
element of a monoid
or greater algebraic
structure, particularly a group or ring.
- Since a commutative zero is the inverse of any additive identity, it must be unique when it exists.
- The quotient ring over a maximal ideal is a field with a single zero element.

- A person of little or no importance.
- They rudely treated him like a zero.

- A plane flown by a Japanese kamikaze in WWII.
- A setting of calibrated instruments such as a firearm.

### Synonyms

- sense numeric symbol zero cipher
- sense digit zero slashed zero
- sense point of origin on a scale origin, zero point
- sense lowest point nadir
- sense irrelevant amount bugger all, nada, naught, nothing, nought, nowt, null, sod all, sweet FA, sweet Fanny Adams, zilch, zip
- sense person of little importance cipher, nobody, nonentity
- (''value of a function’s variables at zero): root
- sense identity element of a monoid additive identity

### Translations

numeric symbol of zero

digit zero

irrelevant amount

- Bosnian: nula
- Catalan: res
- Danish: nul, ingenting
- Dutch: nul
- Esperanto: nulo
- Filipino: wala
- Finnish: ei mitään
- German: Null
- Interlingua: zero, nihil
- Kurdish: sifir
- Latvian: nulle
- Polish: zero
- Portuguese: zero, nada
- Romanian: zero
- Sindhi: (buri)
- Spanish: cero , nada , nulo , nula ,
- Swedish: noll , ingenting, noll och ingenting
- Telugu: సున్నా (sunnaa), శూన్యం (SUnyaM)

zero value of a magnitude

point of origin on a scale

- Bosnian: nula
- Breton: mann, zero
- Catalan: zero, nulpunt
- Danish: nulpunkt
- Dutch: nul
- Esperanto: nulo
- Finnish: nolla, nollapiste
- French: zéro
- German: Null
- Hebrew: אפס (éffes)
- Interlingua: zero
- Italian: zero
- Kurdish: sifir
- Latvian: nulle
- Maltese: żero
- Norwegian: nullpunkt
- Polish: zero
- Portuguese: zero
- Romanian: zero
- Sindhi: (buri)
- Slovene: ničla
- Spanish: cero
- Swedish: nolla
- Tatar: ноль, nol
- Vietnamese: số không, zêrô

value of a function’s independent variables when
the value of the function is zero

- Bosnian: nula
- Danish: nulværdi
- Finnish: nollakohta
- German: Nullstelle
- Interlingua: zero, nihil
- Kurdish: sifir
- Latvian: nulle
- Portuguese: zero
- Sindhi: (buri)
- Slovene: ničla
- Spanish: cero, raíz
- Swedish: nollställe
- Tatar: ноль, nol

identity element of a monoid

- German: Null
- Kurdish: sifir
- Sindhi: (buri)
- Swedish: nollelement

person of little importance

- Bosnian: nula
- Catalan: zero a l'esquerra
- Danish: nul
- Dutch: nul
- Esperanto: nululo
- Finnish: nolla
- German: Null , Nichts , Niemand
- Interlingua: zero, nihil
- Kurdish: sifir
- Latvian: nulle
- Norwegian: null
- Polish: zero
- Portuguese: zero, zero à esquerda
- Romanian: zero
- Sindhi: (buri)
- Spanish: don nadie , cero a la izquierda
- Swedish: nolla
- Tatar: ноль, nol

setting of a firearm

- Finnish: lukitus

### Derived terms

## Adjective

- For all practical purposes irrelevant. Usage: zero + noun.
- She showed zero respect.

- Of a cloud ceiling, limiting vision to 50 feet (15 meters) or less.
- Of horizontal visibility, limited to 165 feet (50.3 meters) or less.
- Present at an abstract level but not realized in the data.
- The stem of "kobieta" with the zero ending is "kobiet".

### Synonyms

### Translations

informal'': for all practical purposes
irrelevant

meteorology: of a cloud ceiling: limiting vision
to 50 feet (15 meters) or less

- Kurdish: sifir

meteorology: of horizontal visibility: limited
to 165 feet (50.3 meters) or less

- Kurdish: sifir

linguistics: present at an abstract level but
not realized in the data

### Derived terms

## Verb

- To set a measuring
instrument to zero; to calibrate instrument scale to valid zero.
- Zero the fluorometer with the same solvent used in extraction.

- In the context of "transitive|computing": To change a memory
location or range to values of zero; to set a variable in a computer
program to zero.
- Results were inconsistent because an array wasn’t zeroed during initialization.

- To cause or set some value or amount to be zero.
- They tried to zero the budget by the end of the quarter.

### Synonyms

- sense to set to zero tare
- sense to cause to be zero zero out

### Translations

to set to zero

- Catalan: posar a zero
- Czech: vynulovat
- Danish: nulstille
- Dutch: op nul zetten
- Estonian: nullima
- Finnish: nollata
- French: mettre à zéro
- German: nullen, auf Null stellen
- Greek: μηδενίζω
- Hungarian: nulláz
- Interlingua: reducer a zero, adjustar a zero
- Italian: azzerare
- Kurdish: sifir kirin
- Polish: wyzerować, zerować
- Portuguese: zerar
- Romanian: a reduce la zero
- Russian: настраивать на нуль (nastráivat’ na nul’)
- Spanish: poner a cero
- Swedish: nolla, nollställa

to cause or set some value or amount to be zero

- Russian: обнулить

### Derived terms

# Catalan

## Noun

zero### Derived terms

- ser un zero a l’esquerra (to be a zero on left side) = to have no value, to be worthless (used for people)

# Italian

## Cardinal number

zero## Noun

- zero (number, numeral)

# Japanese

## Romaji

zero- zero, cipher, naught, nothing

# Kurdish

## Noun

zero## See also

# Portuguese

## Pronunciation

- (Brazil) /ˈzɛru/

## Cardinal number

zero- zero.

## Noun

zero- Zero. gloss Portuguese

# Romanian

## Etymology

zéro## Cardinal number

zero0 (zero) is both a number and the numerical
digit used to represent that number in numerals. It plays a central
role in mathematics
as the additive
identity of the integers, real numbers,
and many other algebraic
structures. As a digit, zero is used as a placeholder in place value
systems. In the English
language, zero may also be called null or nil when a number,
"oh" (), "goose egg", or cipher (archaic) when a
numeral, and nought or naught in either context.

# 0 as a number

0 is the integer preceding 1. In most systems, 0 was identified before the idea of 'negative integers' was accepted. Zero is an even number. 0 is neither positive nor negative.Zero is a number which quantifies a count or an
amount of null size; that
is, if the number of your brothers is zero, that means the same
thing as having no brothers, and if something has a weight of zero,
it has no weight. If the difference between the number of pieces in
two piles is zero, it means the two piles have an equal number of
pieces. Before counting starts, the result can be assumed to be
zero; that is the number of items counted before you count the
first item and counting the first item brings the result to one.
And if there are no items to be counted, zero remains the final
result.

Almost all historians omit the year zero from
the
proleptic Gregorian and Julian
calendars, but astronomers include it in
these same calendars. However, the phrase
Year Zero may be used to describe any event considered so
significant that it serves as a new base point in time.

# 0 as a digit

The modern numerical digit 0 is usually written as a circle, an ellipse, or a rounded rectangle. In most modern typefaces, the height of the 0 character is the same as the other digits. However, in typefaces with text figures, the character is often less tall (x-height).On the seven-segment
displays of calculators, watches, and household appliances, 0
is usually written with six line segments, though on some
historical calculator models it was written with four line
segments.

The value, or number, zero is not the same as the
digit zero, used in numeral
systems using positional
notation. Successive positions of digits have higher weights,
so inside a numeral the digit zero is used to skip a position and
give appropriate weights to the preceding and following digits. A
zero digit is not always necessary in a positional number system,
for example, in the number 02.

## Distinguishing the digit 0 from the letter O

Traditionally, standard typewriters made no distinction in shape between the letter O and the digit 0; some models did not even have a separate key for the digit 0. The oval (i.e. narrower) digit 0 and more nearly circular letter O together came into prominence on modern character displays, though the distinction was already present in some print typefaces.The digit 0 with a dot in the centre seems to
have originated as an option on IBM 3270
displays. Its appearance has continued with the Windows
typeface Andalé
Mono. One variation used a short vertical bar instead of the
dot. This could be confused with the Greek
letter Theta on a badly
focused display, but in practice there was no confusion because
theta was not (then) a displayable character.

An alternative, the slashed zero
(looking similar to the letter O other than the slash), was
primarily used in hand-written coding sheets before transcription
to punched cards or tape, and is also used in old-style ASCII
graphic sets descended from the default typewheel on the ASR-33 Teletype. This form
is similar to the symbol \emptyset, or "∅" (Unicode character
U+2205), representing the empty set, as
well as to the letter Ø used in several
Scandinavian
languages. The convention that has the letter O with a slash
and the digit 0 without was advocated by SHARE, a prominent IBM
user group, and by a few other early mainframe makers; this is even
more problematic for Scandinavians
because it means two of their letters collide. Others advocated the
opposite convention, The Italian mathematician Fibonacci
(c.1170-1250), who grew up in Arab North Africa and is credited
with introducing the Hindu decimal system to Europe, used the term
zephyrum. This became zefiro in Italian,
which was contracted to zero in Venetian,
the modern English word.

As the Hindu decimal zero
and its new mathematics spread from the Arab world to Europe in the
Middle
Ages, words derived from sifr and zephyrus came to refer to
calculation, as well as to privileged knowledge and secret codes.
According to Ifrah, "in thirteenth-century Paris, a 'worthless
fellow' was called a "... cifre en algorisme", i.e., an
"arithmetical nothing"."

The Babylonian placeholder was not a true zero
because it was not used alone. Nor was it used at the end of a
number. Thus numbers like 2 and 120 (2×60), 3 and 180 (3×60), 4 and
240 (4×60), looked the same because the larger numbers lacked a
final sexagesimal placeholder. Only context could differentiate
them.

Records show that the ancient
Greeks seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number. They
asked themselves, "How can nothing be something?", leading to
philosophical and, by
the Medieval period, religious arguments about the nature and
existence of zero and the vacuum. The paradoxes
of Zeno of
Elea depend in large part on the uncertain interpretation of
zero.

The Indian scholar
Pingala
(circa 5th-2nd
century BC) used binary
numbers in the form of short and long syllables (the latter
equal in length to two short syllables), making it similar to
Morse
code. He and his contemporary Indian scholars used the Sanskrit word
śūnya to refer to zero or void.

## History of zero

The use of a blank on a counting board to represent 0 dated back in India to 4th century BC. The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar developed in south-central Mexico required the use of zero as a place-holder within its vigesimal (base-20) positional numeral system. Many different glyphs, including this partial quatrefoil—- In some countries, dialling 0 on a telephone places a call for operator assistance.
- In Braille, the numeral 0 has the same dot configuration as the letter J.
- DVDs that can be played in any region are sometimes referred to as being "region 0"
- In classical music, 0 is very rarely used as a number for a composition: Anton Bruckner wrote a Symphony No. 0 in D minor and a Symphony No. 00; Alfred Schnittke also wrote a Symphony No. 0.
- Roulette wheels usually feature a "0" space (and sometimes also a "00" space), whose presence is ignored when calculating payoffs (thereby allowing the house to win in the long run).
- A chronological prequel of a series may be numbered as 0.
- In Formula One, if the reigning World Champion no longer competes in Formula One in the year following their victory in the title race, 0 is given to one of the drivers of the team that the reigning champion won the title with. This happened in 1993 and 1994, with Damon Hill driving car 0, due to the reigning World Champion (Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost respectively) not competing in the championship.
- In the educational series Schoolhouse Rock!, the song My Hero, Zero is about the use of zero as a placeholder. The song explains that by appending zeroes to a number, it is multiplied by 10 for each one added. This enables mathematicians to create numbers as large as needed.

# Quotations

The importance of the creation of the zero mark
can never be exaggerated. This giving to airy nothing, not merely a
local habitation and a name, a picture, a symbol, but helpful
power, is the characteristic of the Hindu race from whence it
sprang. It is like coining the Nirvana into
dynamos. No single
mathematical creation has been more potent for the general on-go of
intelligence and power. G.B.
Halsted

Dividing by zero...allows you to prove,
mathematically, anything in the universe. You can prove that
1+1=42, and from there you can prove that J. Edgar Hoover is a
space alien, that William Shakespeare came from Uzbekistan, or even
that the sky is polka-dotted. (See appendix A for a proof that
Winston Churchill was a carrot.) Charles
Seife, from: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

...a profound and important idea which appears so
simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very
simplicity and the great ease which it lent to all computations put
our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions. Pierre-Simon
Laplace

The point about zero is that we do not need to
use it in the operations of daily life. No one goes out to buy zero
fish. It is in a way the most civilized of all the cardinals, and
its use is only forced on us by the needs of cultivated modes of
thought. Alfred
North Whitehead

...a fine and wonderful refuge of the divine
spirit--almost an amphibian between being and non-being. Gottfried
Leibniz

# Notes

# References

- Barrow, John D. (2001) The Book of Nothing, Vintage. ISBN 0-09-928845-1.
- Diehl, Richard A. (2004) The Olmecs: America's First Civilization, Thames & Hudson, London.
- Ifrah, Georges (2000) The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
- Kaplan, Robert (2000) The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Seife, Charles (2000) Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Penguin USA (Paper). ISBN 0-14-029647-6.

# See also

# External links

- A History of Zero
- Zero Saga
- The Discovery of the Zero
- The History of Algebra
- Why numbering should start at zero by Edsger Dijkstra
- "Zeroes" Song parody
- "My Hero Zero" Educational children's song

zero in Arabic: 0 (عدد)

zero in Bulgarian: Нула

zero in Catalan: Zero

zero in Czech: Nula

zero in Danish: 0 (tal)

zero in German: Null

zero in Estonian: Null

zero in Modern Greek (1453-): Μηδέν

zero in Spanish: Cero

zero in Esperanto: Nulo

zero in Basque: Zero

zero in Persian: ۰ (عدد)

zero in French: Zéro

zero in Friulian: 0 (numar)

zero in Galician: Cero

zero in Korean: 0

zero in Hindi: शून्य

zero in Ido: Zero

zero in Interlingua (International Auxiliary
Language Association): 0 (numero)

zero in Xhosa: Iqanda

zero in Icelandic: Núll

zero in Italian: Zero

zero in Hebrew: 0 (מספר)

zero in Georgian: ნული

zero in Kinyarwanda: Obusa

zero in Haitian: 0 (nonm)

zero in Kurdish: Sifir (hejmar)

zero in Latin: 0

zero in Latvian: Nulle

zero in Lithuanian: 0 (skaičius)

zero in Lombard: Nümar 0

zero in Hungarian: 0 (szám)

zero in Malayalam: പൂജ്യം

zero in Malay (macrolanguage): 0 (nombor)

zero in Dutch: 0 (getal)

zero in Dutch Low Saxon: 0 (getal)

zero in Newari: शून्य

zero in Japanese: 0

zero in Norwegian: Null

zero in Norwegian Nynorsk: 0

zero in Polish: 0 (liczba)

zero in Portuguese: Zero

zero in Romanian: 0 (cifră)

zero in Quechua: Ch'usaq yupay

zero in Russian: 0 (число)

zero in Simple English: Zero

zero in Slovak: 0 (číslo)

zero in Slovenian: 0

zero in Serbian: 0 (број)

zero in Finnish: 0 (luku)

zero in Swedish: 0 (tal)

zero in Tagalog: 0 (bilang)

zero in Telugu: సున్న

zero in Thai: 0

zero in Vietnamese: 0

zero in Turkish: Sıfır

zero in Ukrainian: 0 (число)

zero in Vlaams: 0 (getal)

zero in Wolof: Tus

zero in Yiddish: 0 (נומער)

zero in Contenese: 0

zero in Chinese:
0