"quality or state of being nothing," 1670s, from Medieval Latin nihilitas, from nihil "nothing at all" (see nil).
Entries linking to nihility
"nothing," 1833, from Latin nil, contraction of nihil, nihilum "nothing, not at all; in vain," from ne- "not" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + hilum "small thing, trifle," which is of unknown origin. The Latin phrase nil desperandum, used loosely for "never give up," is literally "nothing is to be despaired of," from the gerundive of desperare.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "not."
It forms all or part of: a- (3) "not, without;" abnegate; ahimsa; an- (1) privative prefix; annihilate; annul; aught (n.2) "zero, nothing;" deny; hobnob; in- (1) "not, opposite of, without;" ixnay; naught; naughty; nay; nefarious; negate; neglect; negligee; negotiate; neither; nepenthe; nescience; nescient; neuter; never; nice; nihilism; nihility; nil; nill; nimiety; nix; no; non-; none; nonplus; nor; not; nothing; null; nullify; nulliparous; renegade; renege; un- (1) prefix of negation; willy-nilly.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit a-, an- "not;" Avestan na "not;" Greek a-, an-, ne- "not;" Latin in- "not," ne "that not;" Old Church Slavonic and Lithuanian ne "not;" Old Irish an-, ni, Cornish ny "not;" Gothic and Old English un- "not."
updated on June 14, 2019