Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

no - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb, determiner no pronunciation in British English /nəʊ/
No is used in the following ways:
as an adverb (for giving an answer): ‘Would you like some tea?’ ‘No, thanks.’‘You are very selfish sometimes.’ ‘No, I’m not.’ (before a comparative adjective or adverb)She’s no taller than Jerry.
as a determiner: There’s no butter in the fridge.No smoking.He’s no fool.
  1. 1
    used for making a negative reply mainly spoken
    1. a.
      used for giving a negative answer to something that someone asks or offers you
      ‘Are you still working at the clinic?’ ‘No, I work at the hospital now.’
      ‘Haven’t we met before?’ ‘No, I don’t think so.’
      ‘Do you want another cup of coffee?’ ‘No, thanks. I’ve had enough.’
      say no: I’m sorry, but I’ll have to say no this time.
      the answer is no (=used for saying very firmly that someone must stop asking for something): For the last time, the answer is no!
      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      used for saying that a statement someone has made is not true
      ‘You’re always blaming me whenever something goes wrong.’ ‘No, I’m not.’
      ‘Kate is Dave’s sister.’ ‘No, she’s not – they’re cousins.’
    3. c.
      used for agreeing with a negative statement or for agreeing to a negative request
      ‘Don’t forget to make the reservation’. ‘No, I won’t’.
      ‘We’re not as young as we used to be’. ‘No, we’re certainly not’.
      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    not any
    1. a.
      used for saying that there is not even one person or thing
      There’s absolutely no reason to get up early tomorrow morning.
      I have no living cousins that I know about.
      He had been given almost no opportunity to practise.
      There was no hospital in the town.
      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      not any amount of something
      There’s no time to stop and talk.
      I can’t pay – I’ve no money.
      Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    used on signs or in instructions to say that something is not allowed
    No smoking.
    She had completely ignored the ‘No Entry’ sign.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      used for telling someone, especially a child, not to do something
      No! Don’t touch that, it’s hot.
      Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    not at all
    1. a.
      used for saying that someone or something cannot be described in a particular way
      It is no surprise that the company failed.
      I’m no expert on Japan, but I feel sure the economy will improve dramatically.
      He’s no fool – he can see what you’re trying to do.
    2. b.
      used before words such assmallorgreatwhen they are used before nouns to give them the opposite meaning
      Getting the two men to sit down together and talk was no small achievement.
      After the argument he stopped speaking to me, but actually it was no great loss.
    3. c.
      used before adjectives and adverbs
      I enjoy tennis, but I’m no good at it.
      I asked Jane if she knew, but she was no help.
      We played no better or worse than usual.
  5. 5
    spoken used as a way of correcting something that you have just said
    I gave him four pounds – no, five.
    It was last Wednesday – no, Thursday.
  6. 6
    spoken used as a way of emphasizing the negative meaning of what you have said
    He didn’t explain anything. No, we just had to figure it out for ourselves.


See also


… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

brain fade

a temporary inability to think clearly or remember information

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog