|v. t.||1.||Will not.|
|n. & a.||1.||Nothing; of no account; worthless; - a term often used for canceling, in accounts or bookkeeping.|
|n.||1.||(computers) A special value for a variable used in certain computer languages to mean |
|Noun||1.||nil - a quantity of no importance; "it looked like nothing I had ever seen before"; "reduced to nil all the work we had done"; "we racked up a pathetic goose egg"; "it was all for naught"; "I didn't hear zilch about it"|
|NIL - /nil/ 1. New Implementation of Lisp. A language intended to
be the successor of MacLisp. A large Lisp, implemented
mostly in VAX assembly language. A forerunner of Common LISP.|
["NIL: A Perspective", Jon L. White, MACSYMA Users' Conf Proc, 1979].
2. Network Implementation Language. Strom & Yemini, TJWRC, IBM. Implementation of complex networking protocols in a modular fashion.
["NIL: An Integrated Language and System for Distributed Programming", R. Strom et al, SIGPLAN Notices 18(6):73-82 (June 1983)].
3. Empty list or False. In Lisp, the empty list (or "nil list") is used to represent the Boolean value False. This is possible because Lisp is not typed. True is represented by the special atom "t".
4. Spoken in reply to a question, particularly one asked using the "-P" convention it means "No". Most hackers assume this derives simply from LISP, but NIL meaning "no" was well-established among radio hams decades before LISP existed. The historical connection between early hackerdom and the ham radio world was strong enough that this may have been an influence.