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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. [1913 Webster] 2. Of no force; inoperative; ineffectual. [1913 Webster] If all are pardoned, and pardoned as a mere act of clemency, the very substance of government is made nugatory. --I. Taylor. [1913 Webster]