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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce nugatory (audio)

Dictionary definition of nugatory

Trifling, inconsequential, or of little to no value or importance.
"The nugatory outcome of the meeting left everyone feeling disappointed."

Detailed meaning of nugatory

When an object, idea, or action is labeled as nugatory, it implies that it lacks significance, relevance, or substance and is generally considered insignificant or worthless. This term is often applied to matters or details that are so unimportant that they can be safely disregarded or dismissed without consequence. For example, a nugatory comment in a conversation would be one that has no meaningful impact or relevance to the discussion. "Nugatory" underscores the idea of something being trivial, futile, or not worth serious consideration, emphasizing its lack of significance in a given context.

Example sentences containing nugatory

1. His efforts proved nugatory when the company declared bankruptcy.
2. The revisions she made were nugatory and did not affect the main plot.
3. The budget allocation for that department seems nugatory compared to the rest.
4. The impact of the policy was nugatory due to poor implementation.
5. The new changes to the software seem nugatory and hardly noticeable.
6. Her attempts to convince him were nugatory as he had already made up his mind.

History and etymology of nugatory

The adjective 'nugatory' has its origins in Latin, stemming from the word 'nugatorius,' which means 'trifling' or 'worthless.' It is derived from 'nugari,' which means 'to trifle' or 'to jest.' In essence, 'nugatory' originally described something that was akin to idle or frivolous jesting. Over time, as the word found its way into English, it came to signify things that are trifling, inconsequential, or of little to no value or importance. The etymology of 'nugatory' underscores the concept of triviality or worthlessness, emphasizing the idea of something being so unimportant or insignificant that it may as well be treated as idle jesting.

Quiz: Find the meaning of nugatory

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Further usage examples of nugatory

1. He wasted his time on nugatory tasks instead of focusing on his main project.
2. The results of their study were nugatory, leading to no significant changes.
3. Our team's efforts to score were nugatory due to the opponent's strong defense.
4. The old man spent his time on nugatory activities that contributed nothing to his life.
5. Their attempts to negotiate turned out to be nugatory as neither party was willing to compromise.
6. Her contribution to the project was nugatory, barely affecting the overall outcome.
7. Despite its nugatory effect, the medication was expensive.
8. He dismissed their concerns as nugatory and moved ahead with his plan.
9. Their influence on the decision-making process was nugatory due to their minor role.
10. The amount of funding allocated to the research was nugatory, barely covering the costs.
11. The nugatory additions to the design did not enhance its overall aesthetic.
12. Her role in the event turned out to be nugatory as she was hardly involved.
13. His decision to withhold information was nugatory as the truth was eventually revealed.
14. Their promises of reform have so far proven nugatory, with no real progress made.



insignificant, important, valuable, significant


SAT 13 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Deficiency and Shortage, Reduce and Weaken

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