noun no·tion \ ˈnō-shən \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of notion

1 a (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

Examples of notion in a Sentence

  1. He has some pretty strange notions.

  2. She had a vague notion about what happened.

  3. The study disproves any notion that dolphins are not intelligent.

  4. She had a notion to try skydiving.

  5. a sewing shop that sells fabrics, books, tools, and notions

Recent Examples of notion from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of notion

Latin notion-, notio, from noscere

Synonym Discussion of 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

NOTION Defined for Kids


noun no·tion \ ˈnō-shən \

Definition of notion for Students

1 : idea 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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very hard to disturb or upset

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