meaning of nil

1. Will not.
Nothing; of no account; worthless; -- a term often used for canceling, in accounts or bookkeeping.
NIL /nil/ 1. New Implementation of Lisp. A language intended to be the successor of MacLisp. A large Lisp, implemented mostly in VAX assembly language. A forerunner of Common LISP. ["NIL: A Perspective", Jon L. White, MACSYMA Users Conf Proc, 1979]. 2. Network Implementation Language. Strom & Yemini, TJWRC, IBM. Implementation of complex networking protocols in a modular fashion. ["NIL: An Integrated Language and System for Distributed Programming", R. Strom et al, SIGPLAN Notices 186:73-82 June 1983]. 3. Empty list or False. In Lisp, the empty list or "nil list" is used to represent the Boolean value False. This is possible because Lisp is not typed. True is represented by the special atom "t". 4. Spoken in reply to a question, particularly one asked using the "-P" convention it means "No". Most hackers assume this derives simply from LISP, but NIL meaning "no" was well-established among radio hams decades before LISP existed. The historical connection between early hackerdom and the ham radio world was strong enough that this may have been an influence. [Jargon File] niladic A less common synonym for "nullary", presumably following the more common monadic, dyadic, etc. The term was in use as early as 1976, and probably originated in APL. [APL: An Interactive Approach, 1976].
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 didnt hear zilch about ">it"

Related Words

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