no
"negative reply," early 13c., from Old English na (adv.) "no, never, not at all," from ne "not, no" + a "ever." First element from Proto-Germanic *ne (cognates: Old Norse, Old Frisian, Old High German ne, Gothic ni "not"), from PIE root *ne "no, not" (see un-). Second element from PIE *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity" (see aye (adv.)).

As an adjective meaning "not any" (c.1200) it is reduced from Old English nan (see none), the final -n omitted first before consonants and then altogether. As a noun from c.1300. Phrase no can do "it is not possible" is attested from 1827, a locution of English-speaking Chinese noted 19c. in China, Australia and West Coast of U.S.
We repeated our advice again and again, but got no answer but a loud horse-laugh, and their national maxim of No can do: Europe fashion no do in China. ["Reminiscences of a Voyage to and from China," in "Paxton's Horticultural Register," London, 1836]
Construction no X, no Y attested from 1530s (in no peny no pardon). No problem as an interjection of assurance first attested 1963. No way as an expression meaning "it can't be done" is attested by 1968 (no way "by no means" is from c.1400).
no-account (adj.)
"worthless," 1845, American English, literally "of no account" (see account (n.)). The phrase of non acompte "of no value or importance" is from late 14c. Contracted form no'count is attested from 1853.
no-fault (adj.)
as a type of U.S. motor vehicle insurance, 1967, from no + fault (n.).
no-frills (adj.)
1957, from no + frills. The expression no thrills meaning "without extra flourishes or ornamentation" is in use from 1870s; the original notion probably is of plain clothing.
Man with no frills (American) a plain person, a man without culture or refinement. An amiable term to express a vulgar fellow. [Albert Barrere and Charles G. Leland, "A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant," Ballantyne Press, 1890]
no-go (adj.)
with sense "where it is forbidden to go," 1971, from no + go (v.). Earlier it was a noun phrase for an impracticable situation (1870).
no-good (adj.)
1908, from phrase no good "good for nothing." As a noun, first recorded 1924; variant no-goodnik (see -nik) first attested 1960.
no-hitter (n.)
baseball term for a baseball game in which one side fails to make a hit, 1939, from no + hit (n.).
no-man's-land (n.)
also no man's land, "terrain between front lines of entrenched armies," 1908, popularized in World War I; in use from at least early 14c. as Nonemanneslond, an unowned waste ground outside the north wall of London, site for executions. No man (Old English nanne mon) was an old way of saying "nobody."
no-name (adj.)
1978, "not having made a name in one's profession," originally American English sporting jargon, from no + name (n.).
no-no (n.)
1942, from reduplication of no.
no-nonsense (adj.)
"not tolerating foolishness, businesslike," 1928," from phrase to stand no nonsense, which is attested from 1821, originally in sporting slang.
no-parking (adj.)
1956, from the wording of the sign designating a place where vehicles may not be parked (1946); see no + parking.
no-place (n.)
also noplace, "place which does not exist," 1929, from no + place (n.).
no-show (n.)
also no show, "someone who fails to keep an appointment," 1941, from no + show (v.), in the "show up, appear" sense. Originally airline jargon.
no-smoking (adj.)
1905; the sign wording itself is attested by 1817.
Smoking is a vice to [sic] -- and a national one, of such magnitude that railroad corporations throughout all their routes in the United States, have a special command in large letters, conspicuously placed at depots and inside of the cars -- "No smoking allowed here." ["The Sailor's Magazine," December 1840]
no-win (adj.)
1962, in reference to a situation where victory is impossible, from no + win.
No.
as an abbreviation meaning (and pronounced) "number," 1660s, from Latin numero, ablative singular of numerus (see number (n.)).
Noah
masc. proper name, from Hebrew Noah, literally "rest." Phrase Noah's ark attested from 1610s. The adjective Noachian, in reference to the flood legend, is from 1670s.
nob (n.)
"head," c.1700, slang variant of knob (q.v.).
Nobel
1900, in reference to five prizes (in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace) established in the will of Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), Swedish chemist and engineer, inventor of dynamite. A sixth prize, in economics, was added in 1969. Related: Nobelist.
nobelium (n.)
1957, from Nobel + -ium.
nobility (n.)
mid-14c., "quality of being excellent or rare," from Old French nobilite "high rank; dignity, grace; great deed" (12c., Modern French nobilité), and directly from Latin nobilitatem (nominative nobilitas) "celebrity, fame; high birth; excellence, superiority; the nobles," from nobilis "well-known, prominent" (see noble (adj.)). Meaning "quality of being of noble rank or birth" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "noble class collectively" is from 1520s.
noble (adj.)
c.1200, "illustrious, distinguished; worthy of honor or respect," from Old French noble "of noble bearing or birth," from Latin nobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth," earlier *gnobilis, literally "knowable," from gnoscere "to come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know" (see know). The prominent Roman families, which were "well known," provided most of the Republic's public officials.

Meaning "distinguished by rank, title, or birth" is first recorded late 13c. Sense of "having lofty character, having high moral qualities" is from c.1600. A noble gas (1902) is so called for its inactivity or intertness; a use of the word that had been applied in Middle English to precious stones, metals, etc., of similar quality (late 14c.), from the sense of "having admirable properties" (c.1300).
noble (n.)
"man of rank," c.1300, from noble (adj.). The same noun sense also is in Old French and Latin. Late 14c. as the name of an English coin first issued in reign of Edward III.
nobleman (n.)
c.1300, from noble (adj.) + man (n.). Noblewoman is from 1570s.
noblesse (n.)
early 13c., "noble birth or condition," from Old French noblece "noble birth, splendor, magnificence" (Modern French noblesse), from Vulgar Latin *nobilitia, from Latin nobilis (see noble (adj.)). French phrase noblesse oblige "privilege entails responsibility" is attested in English first in 1837.
nobly (adv.)
c.1300, "valorous, courageous, spirited," from noble (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "of or befitting noble birth or descent, of high ancestry" is from 1590s.
Nobodaddy (n.)
c.1793, William Blake's derisive name for the anthropomorphic God of Christianity.
nobody (n.)
mid-14c., no body "no person noone," from Middle English no (adj.) "not any" + bodi (see body (n.)). Written as two words 14c.-18c.; hyphenated 17c.-18c. Incorrect use with their is attested from 1540s. Meaning "person of no importance" is from 1580s.
nociceptive (adj.)
1904, from Latin noci-, comb. form of nocere "to do harm" (see innocuous) + second element from receptive.
nock (n.)
"notch on a bow," late 14c., of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source (such as Swedish nock "notch"), but compare Low German nokk, Dutch nok "tip of a sail." Perhaps connected to nook.
nock (v.)
"fit (an arrow) to a bowstring," 1510s, from nock (n.). Related: Nocked; nocking.
nocturn (n.)
a division of the office of matins, early 13c., from Old French nocturne "evening service; curfew," from Medieval Latin nocturna, "group of Psalms used in the nocturns," from Latin nocturnus (see nocturnal).
nocturnal (adj.)
late 15c., from Old French nocturnal "nightly, nocturnal," or directly from Late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus "belonging to the night," from nox (genitive noctis) "night," cognate with Old English neaht (see night) + -urnus, suffix forming adjectives of time. Nocturnal emission "involuntary ejaculation during sleep" first recorded 1813.
nocturne (n.)
1862, "composition of a dreamy character," from French nocturne, literally "composition appropriate to the night," noun use of Old French nocturne "nocturnal," from Latin nocturnus (see nocturnal). Said to have been coined c.1814 by John Field, who wrote many of them, in a style that Chopin mastered in his own works, which popularized the term.
nocuous (adj.)
1630s, "noxious, harmful," from Latin nocuus "harmful," from stem of nocere "to hurt, injure, harm" (see innocuous).
nod (v.)
"to quickly bow the head," late 14c., of unknown origin, probably an Old English word, but not recorded; perhaps related to Old High German hnoton "to shake," from Proto-Germanic *hnudan. Meaning "to drift in and out of consciousness while on drugs" is attested from 1968. Related: Nodded; nodding. A nodding acquaintance (1711) is one you know just well enough to greet with a nod.
nod (n.)
mid-15c., from nod (v.). Land of Nod "sleep" is a pun on the biblical place name (Gen. iv:16).
nodal (adj.)
1831, from node + -al (1). Related: Nodality.
node (n.)
early 15c., "a knot or lump," from Latin nodus "knot" (see net (n.)). Originally borrowed c.1400 in Latin form, meaning "lump in the flesh." Meaning "point of intersection" (originally of planetary orbits with the ecliptic) first recorded 1660s.
nodular (adj.)
1794, from nodule + -ar. Related: Nodularity.
nodule (n.)
early 15c., from Latin nodulus "small knot," diminutive of nodus "knot" (see net (n.)). Related: Nodulated; nodulous; nodulation.
Noel (n.)
late 14c., nowel "feast of Christmas," from Old French noel "the Christmas season," variant of nael, from Latin natalis (dies) "birth (day)," in Church Latin in reference to the birthday of Christ, from natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci; see genus). The modern word in English, with the sense "a Christmas carol" (1811) probably is a separate borrowing from French. As a masc. proper name, from Old French, probably literally "of or born on Christmas."
noesis (n.)
1820, from Greek noesis "intelligence, thought," from noein "to have mental perception," from noos "mind, thought."
noetic (adj.)
"pertaining to the intellect," 1650s, from Greek noetikos "intelligent," from noesis (see noesis).
nog (n.)
1690s, "old, strong type of beer brewed in Norfolk," of unknown origin. Also see eggnog.
noggin (n.)
1620s, "small cup, mug," later "small drink" (1690s), of unknown origin, possibly related to Norfolk dialectal nog "strong ale." Informal meaning "head" first attested 1866 in American English.
Noh
traditional Japanese masked drama, 1871, from Japanese, literally "ability, talent, function." Dramatic form also known as nogaku, with gaku "music."
nohow (adv.)
"not at all," 1775, American English, from no + how, on model of nowhere.
noise (n.)
early 13c., "loud outcry, clamor, shouting," from Old French noise "din, disturbance, uproar, brawl" (11c., in modern French only in phrase chercher noise "to pick a quarrel"), also "rumor, report, news," apparently from Latin nausea "disgust, annoyance, discomfort," literally "seasickness" (see nausea).

Another theory traces the Old French word to Latin noxia "hurting, injury, damage." OED considers that "the sense of the word is against both suggestions," but nausea could have developed a sense in Vulgar Latin of "unpleasant situation, noise, quarrel" (compare Old Provençal nauza "noise, quarrel"). Meaning "loud or unpleasant sound" is from c.1300. Replaced native gedyn (see din).