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 Houston area boasts some of the nation’s top high school soccer players, a notion supported by the release of rosters for the first Allstate All-America Cup. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Area soccer stars selected for inaugural Allstate All-America Cup," 8 July 2019 The insides of people’s heads are one thing, but the notion of adding horns to the outside is bound to go viral. Faye Flam, Twin Cities, "Faye Flam: Some things are scary. ‘Horns’ from smartphone use aren’t.," 6 July 2019 The results are clear, and support the notion that the oil industry’s lone female CEO uses more inclusive language than her male counterparts. Akshat Rathi, Quartz at Work, "The inclusive language that sets the oil industry’s lone female CEO apart from the rest," 5 July 2019 Along the way, the notion that a decision on the more technocratic ECB boss would be kept apart from the political jobs was abandoned. The Economist, "The tasks facing Europe’s top team," 4 July 2019 Whatever your notions of privacy, children are entitled to intervene to protect their mothers when their fathers are doing a lousy job. New York Times, "My Aunt Has Alzheimer’s and Her Husband Doesn’t Seem to Care," 25 June 2019 Mosseri dismissed the notion that the app was listening to users’ communications or scanning their personal messages in their inbox. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Gayle King Asks Instagram Chief If the App Is Listening to Your Conversations to Pick Ads," 25 June 2019 But a study published in 2016 challenges his notion, suggesting there may be four distinct species, each of which live in a different part of Africa. National Geographic, "How to save the world's tallest animal," 12 June 2019 Lacking a causal element, lapse is not quite our usual notion of time. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning," 6 June 2019

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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Statistics for notion

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on notion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with notion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for notion

Spanish Central: Translation of notion

Nglish: Translation of notion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of notion for Arabic Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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