From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Nugatory \Nu"ga*to*ry\, a. [L. nugatorius, fr. nugari to trifle,
   nugae jests, trifles.]
   1. Trifling; vain; futile; insignificant.
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   2. Of no force; inoperative; ineffectual.
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            If all are pardoned, and pardoned as a mere act of
            clemency, the very substance of government is made
            nugatory.                             --I. Taylor.
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