no·tion | \ˈnō-shən \

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

NBC News reported that since 2014, the activist has encouraged Iranian women to post pictures of themselves in public without a hijab — a radical notion that is symbolic of the fight for freedom of choice. Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "How Social Media in Iran Is Used as a Tool for Protest," 11 July 2018 But there is also tremendous cultural resistance to the notion that automation might relieve us of some labor. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Clocking Out," 11 July 2018 Economists like to say that expansions don’t die of old age—a notion that belies the fact that all previous expansions, save one, have indeed died before reaching the age of this one. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Xiaomi Flop, Brexit Resignation, Formula Lobbying: CEO Daily for July 9, 2018," 9 July 2018 That would be a blow to the notion that henges were a uniquely British invention and a sign that early Europeans were even more culturally connected than previously thought. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Rituals performed at this German ‘Stonehenge’ may link mysterious monument to its U.K. counterpart," 28 June 2018 New York appears poised to become the latest state to adopt a drug take-back law, a slow-but-steady notion moving across the country as local governments grapple with budget constraints caused by unwanted or unused medicines and the opioid crisis. Ed Silverman, STAT, "New York State may force drug makers to pay for drug take-back programs," 26 June 2018 Growing up in Oklahoma City, Ruscha imagined creating a diorama of his entire Daily Oklahoman paper route, a notion equal parts Leave It to Beaver and Jorge Luis Borges. Mark Rozzo, Vanities, "Ed Ruscha Still Has Plenty More to Say About America," 30 May 2018 There is probably some truth to the notion that economic growth hinges upon population growth. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Does Trump Want Teenage Girls to Get Pregnant?," 22 May 2018 In the 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins that sent them to 8-26, the Reds validated a notion held by some that attending a baseball game works best as a concept. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty column: Have the 2018 Cincinnati Reds finally reached rock bottom?," 7 May 2018

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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Phrases Related to notion

not have the faintest idea/notion

Statistics for notion

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for notion

The first known use of notion was in 1531

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More Definitions for notion


no·tion | \ˈnō-shən \

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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Comments on notion

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


one that holds something together

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