Look up niente in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Niente (Italian pronunciation: [ˈnjɛnte]), also called quasi niente[ˈkwaːzi ˈnjɛnte], is a musical dynamic often used at the end of a piece to direct the performer to fade the music away to little more than a bare whisper, normally gradually with a diminuendo,al niente. It is often written as "n" or "ø".
It is also used to direct the performer to fade into a note without any articulation at the beginning of the note, known as dal niente (from nothing): "n".
Niente is distinct from a rest "in that [during niente] the musician is engaged in making sound but so softly that the sound can not be heard."