no·​ta·​tion nō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce notation (audio)
: the act, process, method, or an instance of representing by a system or set of marks, signs, figures, or characters
: a system of characters, symbols, or abbreviated expressions used in an art or science or in mathematics or logic to express technical facts or quantities
notational adjective

Example Sentences

a mathematical notation for computer programming he had scribbled his notation so quickly I couldn't read it
Recent Examples on the Web And yet other monuments’ alignments matched sunrises separated by multiples of 13 or 20 days, reflecting the calendar notation system’s 13 numbers and 20 signs and corresponding to equinoxes and solstices. Byrodrigo Pérez Ortega,, 6 Jan. 2023 The resulting score is paradoxical in its over-elaborate notation to capture something that sounds so simple and direct. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Jan. 2023 Fading music ledger lines are crisscrossed with strips of ghostly dots suggesting some otherworldly musical notation. Dallas News, 9 June 2022 Vocal students do not learn how to play an instrument or how to read musical notation, for example. Daniel Bastardo Blanco, Discover Magazine, 24 June 2019 In many online chess games or tournaments, this notation is automatically generated. Isaac Aronow, New York Times, 13 June 2022 The asterisk notation was used in atomic physics for atoms that are in a high-energy state, and Brown thought this would be a good analogy for the compact radio source giving energy to its surroundings. Erika K. Carlson, Discover Magazine, 26 July 2018 Also, take the most detailed notation possible—there’s a good chance those learnings will be helpful for future iterations of the product. Greg Coticchia, Forbes, 18 July 2022 The offer that came back from National Grid included a boiler plate notation: To qualify for the money, the applicant needed to have a natural gas account. Sabrina Shankman,, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'notation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin notation-, notatio, from notare to note

First Known Use

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of notation was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near notation

Cite this Entry

“Notation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


no·​ta·​tion nō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce notation (audio)
: note entry 2 sense 3a
make notations on a paper
: the act of noting
: a system of marks, signs, figures, or characters used to give specified information
musical notation
scientific notation
-shnəl How to pronounce notation (audio)

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