Definition of not
1 —used as a function word to make negative a group of words or a word
2 —used as a function word to stand for the negative of a preceding group of words is sometimes hard to see and sometimes not
Examples of not in a Sentence
He was standing not six feet away from me.
The bullet passed not five inches from my head!
Recent Examples of not from the Web
There was a huge gap between the haves and have-nots.
His visualization of a futuristic train whose cars duplicate the class system of haves and have-nots was beyond dazzling.
The D.C. Council unanimously approved a $13.9 billion city budget Tuesday, capping months of debate about how to use newly abundant tax dollars to remedy a growing gap between haves and have-nots in the nation’s capital.
Mostly, the claim has to do with the haves and the have nots.
What is necessary is law, law with thou-shalt-nots and punishments built in.
The NBA meticulously designed its draft system so that the have-nots get a chance to reverse course and help the league achieve competitive balance.
This will only exacerbate the divide between the haves and the have-nots -- all without making us any safer.
But this two-tiered system of haves and have-nots is poised for its biggest transformation in decades.
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.
Origin and Etymology of not
First Known Use: 1947See Words from the same year
NOT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of not for English Language Learners
—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
NOT Defined for Kids
Definition of not for Students
1 —used to make a word or group of words negative The books are not here.
2 —used to stand for the negative of a group of words that comes before It is sometimes hard to see and sometimes not.
Seen and Heard
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