no - definition and synonyms

adverb, determiner 

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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!

    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’.

    4. d.
      used for showing that you are shocked, surprised, or disappointed about something that someone has just said

      ‘He drank five pints of beer in an hour.’ ‘No! Really?’

  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.

    2. b.
      not any amount of something

      There’s no time to stop and talk.

      I can’t pay – I’ve no money.

  3. 3
    used on signs or in instructions to say that something is not allowed

    She had completely ignored the ‘No Entrysign.

    1. a.
      used for telling someone, especially a child, not to do something

      No! Don’t touch that, it’s hot.

  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 as ‘small’ or ‘great’ when 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