What does the idiom "null and void" mean?

The phrase null and void is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of null and void.

Meaning of "null and void"


The phrase 'null and void' is typically used as a legal term to describe something that is cancelled or unenforceable, and has no legal effect. It is often used to refer to contracts, rules, or regulations that can no longer be used or taken into account. It means that a law, agreement, or decision is completely invalid, and has no effect.


The phrase 'null and void' has its origins in Latin where 'nullus' and 'vacare' were used to mean 'none' and 'empty' respectively. The phrase was first used in English as null and void in the late 13th century, becoming popular during the 18th century. The phrase has been used in legal and non-legal contexts since then.


This phrase is typically used in a legal context. It is often used to refer to contracts or agreements that have been rendered invalid, or cannot be enforced. It can also be used to refer to laws, rules, or regulations that have been rendered void or unenforceable. In non-legal contexts, it can be used to describe any action or decision that has been cancelled or rendered invalid. It can also be used to describe any situation that is in a state of chaos, since nothing is working as it should.

Example Sentences

  • The judge declared the contract to be null and void due to a lack of evidence.
  • The company declared their policy on the issue to be null and void since it was no longer applicable.
  • The results of the election were declared to be null and void due to irregularities in the voting process.
  • The chaos in the city has left it in a state of null and void, as nothing is working as it should.

The meanings of the words in the "null and void" idiom

From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms

English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.


No comment has been written about null and void yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply