Cultural Watch

nugatory – Word of the Day


Nugatory \ NOO-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, NYOO-\ adjective


1. Of no real value; trifling; worthless.
2. Of no force or effect; ineffective; futile; vain.


Just at the moment, he was covering Art in a provincial paper for a financially nugatory consideration: a disadvantageous circumstance which he would explain as arising solely from his exceptional professional integrity.
— Michael Innes, Money from Holme, 1964


Nugatory stems from the Latin nūgārī meaning “to trifle.” It entered English around 1600.

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