no·​ta·​tion | \ nō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce notation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from notation

notational \ nō-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce notational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for notation


jotting, memo, memorandum, note

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The department has sent the joint-employment rule to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, according to a notation published Friday on the agency’s website. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Labor Department Set to Propose Rule on Joint Employment," 1 Mar. 2019 The sentiments expressed in Bach’s vocal music are continually paralleled in his Calov notations. Michael Marissen, New York Times, "Bach Was Far More Religious Than You Might Think," 30 Mar. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about notation

Dictionary Entries near notation

not a sausage

not at all






Statistics for notation

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for notation

The first known use of notation was in 1584

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for notation



English Language Learners Definition of notation

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


no·​ta·​tion | \ nō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce notation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!