as in novelties
notions plural small useful items the fabric store had a wide variety of thread, pins, buttons, and other notions

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in concept
an idea or statement about all of the members of a group or all the instances of a situation the popular notion that college athletes are airheads

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun notion contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of notion are conception, concept, idea, impression, and thought. While all these words mean "what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan)," notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental.

you have the oddest notions

When is concept a more appropriate choice than notion?

The words concept and notion can be used in similar contexts, but 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

How do conception and concept relate to one another, in the sense of notion?

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

When might idea be a better fit than notion?

While in some cases nearly identical to notion, 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

Where would impression be a reasonable alternative to notion?

The words impression and notion are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses.

the first impression is of soaring height

When can thought be used instead of notion?

In some situations, the words thought and notion are roughly equivalent. However, thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining.

commit your thoughts to paper

Thesaurus Entries Near notion

Cite this Entry

“Notion.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on notion

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!