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 those killed by Covid-19 would have died soon anyway is also false. Darius Lakdawalla, STAT, 15 Oct. 2021 The notion that such classes — or even talking about race’s impact on society — are racially divisive is a rather lazy critique. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Oct. 2021 O’Keeffe also explored this notion, using modernist means to show the exhilarating breadth of her country. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 Within hours, Matt saw the comment and shot back with a factual response to shut down this notion once and for all. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 4 Oct. 2021 There is article after article that supports this notion. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 19 Sep. 2021 You guys always approach design with this family-centric notion in your head. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, 16 Sep. 2021 Never mind that Fowler’s colleague, former NFL safety Ryan Clark, contorted his face in disbelief at this notion. Childs Walker,, 13 Sep. 2021 This notion of isomorphism lies at the heart of this decades-old problem. Quanta Magazine, 10 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near notion

not in the slightest



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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Notion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on notion

Nglish: Translation of notion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of notion for Arabic Speakers


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