no·​tion | \ ˈnō-shən How to pronounce notion (audio) \

Definition of notion

1a(1) : an individual's conception or impression of something known, experienced, or imagined They had different notions of right and wrong.
(2) : an inclusive general concept arriving at the notion of law— Irving Babbitt
(3) : a theory or belief held by a person or group the notion of original sin
b : a personal inclination : whim He had a notion to try skydiving.
2 obsolete : mind, intellect
3 notions plural : small useful items : sundries found the thread she wanted among the shop's notions

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Choose the Right Synonym for notion

idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression mean what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan). idea may apply to a mental image or formulation of something seen or known or imagined, to a pure abstraction, or to something assumed or vaguely sensed. innovative ideas my idea of paradise concept may apply to the idea formed by consideration of instances of a species or genus or, more broadly, to any idea of what a thing ought to be. a society with no concept of private property conception is often interchangeable with concept; it may stress the process of imagining or formulating rather than the result. our changing conception of what constitutes art thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining. commit your thoughts to paper notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental. you have the oddest notions impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses. the first impression is of soaring height

Examples of notion in a Sentence

He has some pretty strange notions. She had a vague notion about what happened. The study disproves any notion that dolphins are not intelligent. She had a notion to try skydiving. a sewing shop that sells fabrics, books, tools, and notions
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Recent Examples on the Web The notion that a Biden administration would benefit at all from giving a Republican a coveted and influential role is obviously false. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "There Are No Good Republicans for a Biden White House," 21 Oct. 2020 The notion that a split between science and politics must exist is largely a fiction—and one of relatively recent vintage. Alex Csiszar, Wired, "Scientific Journals Are Denouncing Trump. That’s Normal," 20 Oct. 2020 In those days, the notion that Nicaragua was opening up to vacationing tourists after two decades of strife was irresistible. Jason Wilson, Washington Post, "During the pandemic, a lifelong travel writer takes a journey inward to reflect on what he has learned around the globe," 14 Oct. 2020 The notion that social-responsibility criteria appeal only to liberals is a myth. Meir Statman, WSJ, "What You Need to Know About Social-Impact Investing," 4 Oct. 2020 The notion and the aspiration have been around for decades. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "“A.I. is a living and breathing engine”," 24 Sep. 2020 For former astronaut Jemison, who currently helms the 100 Year Starship project to explore interstellar flight for all humans, the notion that success is limited to a select few women of color is a myth. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "'Work harder than everyone': Kamala Harris' background resonates with other women of color making history," 22 Aug. 2020 The notion that people would not vote this year is alarming. Carla Hall Los Angeles Times (tns), Star Tribune, "A convention night that didn't need to be loud to be heard," 20 Aug. 2020 Diaz dismissed any notion of playing for payback on Saturday. David Furones,, "Hurricanes’ Manny Diaz on Clemson: ‘This is the game you want to measure yourself against’," 5 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'notion.' 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 notion

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(2)

History and Etymology for notion

Latin notion-, notio, from noscere

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Time Traveler for notion

Time Traveler

The first known use of notion was in 1531

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Statistics for notion

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Notion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for notion


no·​tion | \ ˈnō-shən How to pronounce notion (audio) \

Kids Definition of notion

1 : idea sense 2 I haven't the faintest notion what to do.
2 : whim We had a sudden notion to go swimming.
3 notions plural : small useful articles (as buttons, needles, and thread)

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