Meaning of “no” in the English Dictionary

"no" in English

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uk /nəʊ/ us /noʊ/

A1 not any; not one; not a:

There's no butter left.
There are no pockets in these trousers.
That's my kind of holiday - no email, no phone, and no worries.
There's no chance (= no possibility) of us getting there by eight.

A2 used in signs and on notices to show that something is not allowed:

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uk /nəʊ/ us /noʊ/


A1 used to give negative answers:

"Did you feed the cat?" "No, I forgot."
"Would you like any more cake?" "No, thank you."
"Do you have any homework tonight?" "No."

More examples

  • "Would you like another drink?" "I wouldn't say no."
  • The offer was so good that I couldn't say no .
  • "Must I sign this?" "No, there's no need."
  • He made it impossible for me to say no.
  • "Was it wrong of me to go to the police?" "Oh no, I'm sure you did the right thing."

nonoun [ C ]

uk /nəʊ/ us /noʊ/ plural noes

written abbreviation for number:

They live at No. 17.
The answers to nos 13–20 are on page 21.
No. 10

written abbreviation for Number Ten

(Definition of “no” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"no" in American English

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noadjective [ not gradable ]

us /noʊ/

no adverb [ not gradable ] (NEGATIVE ANSWER)

used to give negative answers:

"Are you hurt?" "No, I’m OK."
"Would you like some coffee?" "No, thank you."

no adverb [ not gradable ] (NOT)


It’s no colder today than it was yesterday.

nonoun [ C ]

us /noʊ/ plural noes

a negative answer:

The answer is no.

no.noun [ C ]

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ plural nos.

abbreviation for number

No.adjective, noun [ U ]

abbreviation for north or northern

(Definition of “no” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"No." in Business English

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No.noun [ C ]

uk us

written abbreviation for number noun :

It is the No. 1 selling car in America.

(Definition of “No.” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)