Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb \ˈnōt\

Simple Definition of note

  • : to notice or pay attention to (something)

  • : to say or write (something)

Full Definition of note


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to notice or observe with care b :  to record or preserve in writing

  3. 2 a :  to make special mention of or remark on b :  indicate, show

not·er noun

Examples of note

  1. You may have noted my late arrival.

  2. The thing to note here is that people are suffering.

  3. It's interesting to note how quickly things have changed.

  4. Their objections were duly noted.

  5. As one official noted, the situation has begun to get out of control.

  6. As noted above most people survive the disease.

  7. They've asked us to leave, he noted with amusement.

Origin of note

Middle English, from Anglo-French noter, from Latin notare to mark, note, from nota

First Known Use: 13th century




Simple Definition of note

  • : a short piece of writing that is used to help someone remember something

  • notes : an informal written record of things that are said and done

  • : a short piece of writing that gives you information : a brief comment or explanation

Full Definition of note

  1. 1 a (1) obsolete :  melody, song (2) :  tone 2a (3) :  call, sound; especially :  the musical call of a bird b :  a written symbol used to indicate duration and pitch of a tone by its shape and position on the staff

  2. 2 a :  a characteristic feature (as of odor or flavor) b :  something (as an emotion or disposition) like a note in tone or resonance <a note of sadness> <end on a high note>

  3. 3 a (1) :  memorandum (2) :  a condensed or informal record b (1) :  a brief comment or explanation (2) :  a printed comment or reference set apart from the text c (1) :  a written promise to pay a debt (2) :  a piece of paper money (3) :  a government or corporate bond usually with a maturity of between two and ten years d (1) :  a short informal letter (2) :  a formal diplomatic communication e :  a scholarly or technical essay shorter than an article and restricted in scope f :  a sheet of notepaper

  4. 4 a :  distinction, reputation <a figure of international note> b :  observation, notice <took full note of the proceedings> c :  knowledge, information

Examples of note

  1. She wrote a note to remind herself about the appointment.

  2. I left you a note on the kitchen table.

  3. making notes in the margins of a book

  4. She jotted down a few notes during the interview.

  5. After class, I usually study my notes and read the next chapter.

  6. I can't come to class today. Would you mind taking notes for me?

  7. His secretary took notes during our meeting.

  8. Please include a brief note about where the picture was taken.

  9. He writes in the program notes that the play was inspired by his own childhood.

  10. One final note: tickets will be available at the door the night of the concert.

Illustration of note

Origin of note

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin nota mark, character, written note

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of note

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason <encouraging signs for the economy>. mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance <a mark of a good upbringing>. token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible <this gift is a token of our esteem>. note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic <a note of irony in her writing>. symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition <rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay>.

NOTE Defined for Kids



verb \ˈnōt\

Definition of note


  1. 1 :  to notice or observe with care <Note the differences between the two paintings.>

  2. 2 :  to record in writing <Let me note down your address.>

  3. 3 :  to make special mention of <His speech noted everyone's achievements.>




Definition of note

  1. 1 :  a musical sound :  tone

  2. 2 :  a symbol in music that by its shape and position on the staff shows the pitch of a tone and the length of time it is to be held

  3. 3 :  the musical call or song of a bird

  4. 4 :  a quality that shows a feeling <There's a note of sadness in your voice.>

  5. 5 :  something written down often to aid the memory <I'll make a note of the appointment.>

  6. 6 :  a printed comment in a book that helps explain part of the text

  7. 7 :  distinction 3 <artists of note>

  8. 8 :  a short written message or letter <a thank-you note>

  9. 9 :  careful notice <Please take note of the time.>

  10. 10 :  frame of mind :  mood <She began the day on a happy note.>

  11. 11 :  a piano key

  12. 12 :  a written promise to pay a debt

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up note? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift duvet kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.