Definition of not
- is sometimes hard to see and sometimes not
He was standing not six feet away from me.
The bullet passed not five inches from my head!
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'not.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use: 1947See Words from the same year
—used to form the negative of modal verbs (such as “should” and “could”) and auxiliary verbs (such as “do” and “have”)
—used with a negative word to make a positive statement
—used humorously at the end of a positive statement to show that you really meant the opposite
What made you want to look up not? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ