no·​ta·​tion nō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce notation (audio)
: the act, process, method, or an instance of representing by a system or set of marks, signs, figures, or characters
: 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
notational adjective

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 Fourteen court files include notations saying a charge was dismissed after someone, often in law enforcement, had intervened. Samantha Sunne, ProPublica, 16 Nov. 2023 Examined, too, are innovations and their unintended consequences—including the development of musical notation in the ninth and 10th centuries, which led to increasingly complex Christian liturgical chants. John Check, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2023 For No Fixed Point in Space, Cooper handed musical notation to the players and instructed them to loosely interpret and improvise within that structure. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 29 Sep. 2023 As a result of these talks, Sikhs who want to carry a kirpan at work now receive special notation on their employee badges. Jennifer Miller, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Though Brian has fond memories of attending bigger shows at venues like KeyArena and the Kingdome, most of his learning was self-taught, learning how to sing harmonies in local record stores and practicing song writing on keyboards and music notation software in the back of high school classrooms. Lauren Ballantyne, Rolling Stone, 18 Sep. 2023 Yet the Sonata begins with seven bars of technically unchallenging music, which anyone who reads notation can manage. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 Some music is presented visually, through original scores done with unusual musical notation. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Aug. 2023 The mystery begins in 1985 when Kate, examining her birth certificate, finds an odd notation on it. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'notation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin notation-, notatio, from notare to note

First Known Use

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of notation was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near notation

Cite this Entry

“Notation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


no·​ta·​tion nō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce notation (audio)
: note entry 2 sense 3a
make notations on a paper
: the act of noting
: a system of marks, signs, figures, or characters used to give specified information
musical notation
scientific notation
-shnəl How to pronounce notation (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on notation

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