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

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Other Words from notation

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

Keep a notation on your calendar when discount contracts expire. Dallas News, "One year after its merger, AT&T keeps raising its fees, slowly but surely," 5 July 2019 Some entries are funny, some sad and some dry notations on daily activities., "Watercolor paintings from world travels on display at Yale Center for British Art," 1 July 2019 This alphabet, very similar to the modern sign language alphabet, was based on the Aretina score, a system of musical notation created by Guido Aretinus, an Italian monk in the Middle Ages, to help singers sight-read music. National Geographic, "How monks helped invent sign language," 28 May 2019 Here’s a complete list, using our notation: Now, we aren’t guaranteed that all eight possibilities are actual symmetries of the square. Quanta Magazine, "Symmetry, Algebra and the Monster," 17 Aug. 2017 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

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

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for notation

The first known use of notation was in 1584

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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

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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 small bunch of flowers

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