no·​ta·​tion | \ nō-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of notation 

2a : the act, process, method, or an instance of representing by a system or set of marks, signs, figures, or characters
b : a system of characters, symbols, or abbreviated expressions used in an art or science or in mathematics or logic to express technical facts or quantities

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Other Words from notation

notational \ nō-​ˈtā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for notation


jotting, memo, memorandum, note

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Examples of notation in a Sentence

a mathematical notation for computer programming he had scribbled his notation so quickly I couldn't read it

Recent Examples on the Web

It could only be explained by some intricate notation, like a long chess game between grand masters. Stefan Beck, WSJ, "An Epic of Human Scale," 20 July 2018 Such classic forms of dance can be translated into choreographic notation on paper, which further establishes a right to ownership. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 Newsletter Sign-up Société Générale avoided detection, in part, by making inaccurate or incomplete notations on payment messages that accompanied the transactions, prosecutors alleged. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Société Générale to Pay $1.3 Billion to Resolve U.S. Sanctions, Money-Laundering Violations," 19 Nov. 2018 PreSonus’ deal gives you 50 percent off both its DAW Studio One and music notation software Notion. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "The best Black Friday deals for DJs and electronic musicians," 21 Nov. 2018 What if that was more a notation than a definition? Chris White, The Courier-Journal, "Think paying players is making a mess of college basketball? Wait until coaches are named," 24 Feb. 2018 Written notations for many ballets do exist, at least in partial form, but mostly they are ignored, on the theory that dance is a living, breathing art form, always changing. New York Times, "In ‘Harlequinade,’ Gestures Dance, and Dances Tell Stories," 29 May 2018 The filing of the document in the involuntary bankruptcy suit cost $1,717.00 according to a handwritten notation on Tobin's paperwork. Maeve Reston, CNN, "Exclusive: How a 'nobody' ex-con pushed Avenatti law firm into bankruptcy," 1 June 2018 In response to an AJC question about why the notations were omitted, the city said Baker Donelson was not providing the city with criminal defense services. Stephen Deere, ajc, "Atlanta’s legal bills related to corruption probe top $7.5M, AJC finds," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'notation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of notation

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for notation

Latin notation-, notatio, from notare to note

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Dictionary Entries near notation

not a sausage

not at all






Statistics for notation

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for notation

The first known use of notation was in 1584

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English Language Learners Definition of notation

: a system of marks, signs, figures, or characters that is used to represent information


no·​ta·​tion | \ nō-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of notation

1 : the act of noting
2 : note entry 2 sense 5 He made notations on a paper.
3 : a system of signs, marks, or figures used to give a certain kind of information musical notation scientific notation

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More from Merriam-Webster on notation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with notation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for notation

Spanish Central: Translation of notation

Nglish: Translation of notation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of notation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on notation

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a person who helps groups work together

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