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and the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals.
The number 0 fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures.
They asked themselves, "How can nothing be something?
", leading to philosophical and, by the medieval period, religious arguments about the nature and existence of zero and the vacuum.
The Italian word zefiro was already in existence (meaning "west wind" from Latin and Greek zephyrus) and may have influenced the spelling when transcribing Arabic ṣifr.
There are different words used for the number or concept of zero depending on the context.
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1170–1250), who grew up in North Africa and is credited with introducing the decimal system to Europe, used the term zephyrum.
This became zefiro in Italian, and was then contracted to zero in Venetian.
Slang words for zero include zip, zilch, nada, and scratch. By 1770 BC, the Egyptians had a symbol for zero in accounting texts.