The Meaning of Nada: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of nada? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word nada, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word nada mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, nada is the Spanish word for nothing. This word is used as slang in English for nothing, for something of a quantity of no importance, or for some unsuccessful effort. Nada is also a term in ancient Indian metaphysics that refers to the spiritual sound that fills the entire cosmos, and it means dew in Arabic, or hope in Serbo-Croatian. According to Yogapedia, nada is an important part of yoga along with scripture, devotion, non-violence, and meditation in India. Nada also stands for the National Anti-Doping Agency, and is the name of an Italian singer and South Korean professional StarCraft player. There is also a book called Nada written by Carmen Laforet. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean nada aside from the English translation. You may notice that a lot of these words look similar to the word nada. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that loko, sound, and mean similar things across languages. These are usually formed when two words have the same root or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word nada is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Classical Nahuatl: ahtle‎
  •  Hungarian: semmi‎
  •  Latin: nihil‎ (neut.), nihilum‎ (neut.)
  •  Turkish: hiç‎, hiç bir şey‎
  •  Polish: nic‎
  •  Ukrainian: ніщо‎ (niščó), нічого‎ (ničóho)
  •  Persian: هیچ‎ (hič), هیچ‌چیز‎ (hič-čiz)
  •  Swedish: inget‎, ingenting‎, intet‎
  •  Friulian: nuie‎, nie‎
  •  Cyrillic: ни̏шта‎
  •  Hebrew: see usage notes at שׁוּם דָּבָר‎ and כְּלוּם‎
  •  Dalmatian: nolja‎
  •  Roman: nȉšta‎
  •  Norwegian: ingenting‎, inget‎
  •  Korean: 아무것도…없다‎ (amugeotto…eopda)
  •  Finnish: ei mitään‎
  •  Arabic: لَا شَيْء‎
  •  Icelandic: ekkert‎ (neut.), neitt‎
  •  Georgian: არაფერი‎
  •  Russian: ничто́‎ (ništó), ничего́‎ (pronounced: ničevó)
  •  Walloon: rén‎
  •  French: rien‎, ne + verb + rien‎
  •  Tok Pisin: nogat samting‎
  •  Catalan: res‎
  •  Portuguese: nada‎
  •  Lithuanian: niekas‎
  •  Novial: nulum‎
  •  Istriot: gninte‎
  •  Tagalog: wala‎
  •  Sicilian: nenti‎
  •  Interlingua: nihil‎, nil‎
  •  Latvian: nekas‎
  •  Hindi: कुछ नहीं‎ (kuch nahī̃)
  •  Belarusian: нішто‎ (ništó), нічога‎ (ničóha)
  •  Asturian: nada‎, ñada‎
  •  Vietnamese: không‎, không có gì‎, không cái gì‎
  •  Japanese: 何も‎ (なにも, nani-mo), 何でもない‎ (なんでもない, nandemonai), 別に‎ (べつに, betsu ni)
  •  Romanian: nimic‎
  •  Macedonian: ништо‎
  •  Lakota: tákuni‎
  •  Navajo: ádin‎
  •  Bulgarian: нищо‎ (níšto)
  •  Slovak: nič‎
  •  Czech: nic‎
  •  Ido: nulo‎
  •  Ancient Greek: οὐδέν‎ (neut.), μηδέν‎ (neut.)
  •  Cherokee: ᎠᏝ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ‎ (átla gohusdi)
  •  Luxembourgish: näischt‎
  •  Urdu: کچھ نہیں‎ (kuch nahī̃)
  •  Venetian: gnent‎, gnente‎
  •  Bengali: কিছু না‎ (kichu na)
  •  Dutch: niets‎, niks‎
  •  Mandarin: 沒什麼‎, 没什么‎ (méi shénme), 沒事‎, 没事‎ (méishì)
  •  Thai: ไม่มีอะไร‎ (mâi mee àrai)
  •  Galician: nada‎, ren‎, res‎
  •  Sorani: هیچ‎
  •  Moroccan Arabic: والو‎ (wælu), حتّا حجة‎ (ḥətta ḥəja)
  •  Albanian: asgjë‎, kurrgjë‎
  •  Afrikaans: niks‎
  •  Esperanto: nenio‎
  •  Basque: ezerez‎, deusez‎
  •  Alemannic German: nüüt‎
  •  Italian: niente‎, non + verb + niente‎, nulla‎
  •  Slovene: nìč‎
  •  Chamicuro: kala‎
  •  Greek: τίποτε‎ (neut.), τίποτα‎ (neut.)
  •  Danish: intet‎, ingenting‎

How can the word nada be used in a sentence?

Nada can be used in slang, informal English sentences and in Spanish sentences. Below are examples of nada.

Ana asked me how much I had been on Twitter and Facebook in the past week. I told her, “Nada!”… She doesn’t need to know my secrets.

The sheriff tried to use his wit to solve the case, but all of the clues that he found amounted to nada.

What is the origin of nada?

According to Etymonline, the word nada has been used as slang for nothing in English since 1933, first done by Ernest Hemingway. This comes from the Spanish word nada, which means nothing. This word comes from the Latin (res)nata or Vulgar Latin rēs nāta, meaning small or insignificant thing, literally meaning “thing born.” This comes from the Latin natus, the past participle of nāscī/nasci meaning to be born. This also gives us the Spanish word nadar.  In Old Latin, this was spelled gnasci, from the Proto-Indo-European root gene meaning to give birth or beget. This word is of Indo-European roots.  The below quote from Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” is the first time nada was used in American English:

“What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.”

What are synonyms and antonyms of nada?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word nada. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a quick and easy way to expand your English language vocabulary, and they can help you avoid repeating yourself! This list of synonyms for the word nada is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  ought
  •  zippo
  •  jack
  •  rock bottom
  •  nonentity
  •  nil
  •  bottom
  •  shred
  •  hill of beans
  •  shutout
  •  nothingness
  •  naught
  •  lowest point
  •  oblivion
  •  whit
  •  squat
  •  ounce
  •  love
  •  void
  •  blank
  •  doodly-squat
  •  none
  •  cipher
  •  aught
  •  zip
  •  zot
  •  not anything
  •  zilch
  •  insignificancy
  •  iota
  •  diddly-squat
  •  nadir
  •  nobody
  •  nix
  •  nought
  •  goose egg
  •  nullity
  •  scratch
  •  anything
  •  edit
  •  diddly
  •  zero

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word nada. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another means by which to expand your English vocabulary. This list of opposite words for the word nada is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  fullness
  •  pack
  •  scads
  •  tons
  •  overage
  •  profuseness
  •  completeness
  •  volume
  •  great quantity
  •  gobs
  •  thousands
  •  plethora
  •  mess
  •  pile
  •  very much
  •  much
  •  mass
  •  lump
  •  amplitude
  •  loads
  •  lots
  •  riches
  •  barrel
  •  all kinds of
  •  multiplicity
  •  abundance
  •  mountain
  •  plenty
  •  sufficiency
  •  plenty
  •  oodles
  •  wealth
  •  plentifulness
  •  oversupply
  •  exuberance
  •  appreciable amount
  •  copiousness
  •  excess
  •  superabundance
  •  superfluity
  •  peck
  •  breadth
  •  a lot
  •  heaps

Overall, the Old Spanish nada means nothing. This is used in English as a slang term for nothing.


  1. nada: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. MUCH Synonyms: 114 Synonyms & Antonyms for MUCH | Thesaurus 
  3. NADA Synonyms: 70 Synonyms & Antonyms for NADA | Thesaurus 
  4. Nada definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. What is Nada? | Yogapedia 
  6. nada | Origin and meaning of nada | Online Etymology Dictionary