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 And the notion that this was a mere contribution, bathed in niceties, when in reality the bill could spiral well into the six figures. Ron Lieber, New York Times, "FAFSA’s Expected Family Contribution Is Going Away. Good Riddance.," 30 Dec. 2020 But Gardner-Johnson seems fueled by the notion — real or imagined — that critics of the Saints defense are coming back out in force. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings free live stream Christmas: How to watch football game (12/25/20)," 25 Dec. 2020 And the science that underwrites them was established even longer ago, with the understanding of mRNA and ribosomes and, even further back, with the notion of DNA as the precursor to proteins — long before I was born. Adam Lalley, STAT, "My first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine got me thinking about time," 24 Dec. 2020 These latest poems keep circling the notion of remembrance — of place, of those who are gone, of the poet’s past. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, "The 10 best California books of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 Spiller has bought into Fisher’s notion of a complete back, someone who catches the ball out of backfield and blocks as well as runs. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Texas A&M scrambled for RBs last season. Now the CFP-contending Aggies have a triple option at the position," 11 Dec. 2020 The notion that the real liberals are from up north, especially somewhere like New York or California. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Stacey Abrams may hurt Raphael Warnock more than help him in Georgia Senate race," 9 Dec. 2020 The same notion, but in reverse, for 2009 keeps it out of my top five most frustrating. Michael Rand, Star Tribune, "With plenty of competition, 2020 Vikings rank among most frustrating," 7 Dec. 2020 The notion of not sending police in response to 911 calls about people in crisis is becoming a reality in some cities. Eric Umansky, ProPublica, "It Wasn’t the First Time the NYPD Killed Someone in Crisis. For Kawaski Trawick, It Only Took 112 Seconds.," 4 Dec. 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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Notion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 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)

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