Definition of notion in US English:



  • 1A conception of or belief about something.

    ‘children have different notions about the roles of their parents’
    ‘I had no notion of what her words meant’
    • ‘As a whole, the show provided insight into the formative years of artists now known for wholly different notions of what painting might be.’
    • ‘The second was that according to old-fashioned notions of gender stereotyping, a man should be the dominant partner in a marriage.’
    • ‘Disparate sides may well use the same word or concept to evaluate and characterise beliefs and ideas, yet load them with different notions and values.’
    • ‘Words like ‘family’ are also ambiguous, because people will have different notions of who makes up their family.’
    • ‘Reductionism and the criterial theory lean heavily on the notion of analytic or conceptual truth.’
    • ‘There are different notions of what public opinion is.’
    • ‘Though the concept of beauty is timeless, notions of what constitutes the perfect physical form have changed over time.’
    • ‘Our examination of the particular concepts by topic suggests differing notions about what is meant by core concept.’
    • ‘That is what Sir Owen Dixon set as the test - ordinary notions of the concept of income.’
    • ‘In the beginning, an ordinary person absorbs ideas and notions about different things from the surroundings and environment in which he lives.’
    • ‘We need a hierarchical rather than an egalitarian conception of aesthetic notions.’
    • ‘Present-day belief in these medieval notions is incredible.’
    • ‘All of these various versions of blogging suggest different notions regarding community.’
    • ‘We see the world from different perspectives and have different notions of what constitutes fairness.’
    • ‘In mental test theory these notions are treated mathematically.’
    • ‘Chinese people seem to have more affection for, and put more belief in, Western notions and practices.’
    • ‘He could not be bothered with spiritual notions or metaphysical concepts.’
    • ‘Privacy was viewed as a vague enough concept even before notions of emotional damage became incorporated into its meaning.’
    • ‘At present, complexity theory is more a set of concepts, notions and observations than a full-fledged theory.’
    • ‘The above notions constitute the elementary concepts of category theory.’
    idea, belief, concept, conception, conviction, opinion, view, thought, impression, image, perception, mental picture
    understanding, idea, awareness, knowledge, clue, inkling
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  • 2An impulse or desire, especially one of a whimsical kind.

    ‘she had a notion to call her friend at work’
    • ‘We'd talk about the nature of souls, notions of individuals and societies, and the function of psychology.’
    • ‘Conceptual analysis is carried out in the philosophy of sexuality in order to clarify the fundamental notions of sexual desire and sexual activity.’
    • ‘I find it sad that our notions of fun are equated with destruction and violence, and not creation and sustenance.’
    • ‘And this desire transcends all notions of fear for one's own safety.’
    • ‘But ‘the social gap in notions of fun may have more to do with age than gender.’’
    • ‘New Age materialism seemed an ugly form of self-serving notions to justify greed and the refusal of compassion.’
    • ‘Eagleton says that opinion, appetite or inclinations are notions of individual desire that become a person's subjectivity.’
    • ‘Don't jump to conclusions, she chided herself, personally embarrassed by her outrageous notions.’
    • ‘As social psychologists we have an inherent interest in all notions which might inform practices related to social and family responsibility.’
    • ‘Few notions strike fear in the hearts of an audience as much as the ‘concept album.’’
    • ‘I had vague notions of asking Sir Gregory about the comments that had passed between him and the Earl of Salisbury.’
    impulse, inclination, whim, desire, wish, fancy, caprice, whimsy
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  • 3notionsNorth American Items used in sewing, such as buttons, pins, and hooks.

    • ‘Store small notions, such as buttons, pins and snaps, in empty film containers, pill bottles or baby food jars.’
    • ‘Also be sure to get such notions as thread, zippers, buttons, and interfacing.’
    • ‘On the ground floor there has been for twenty-five years a little store where toys and notions and stationery are sold.’
    • ‘Crafters will often use a backpack to transport fabric and other sewing notions to a guild meeting, leaving both hands free to carry the sewing machine.’
    • ‘Keep an eye out for sales on threads and other notions while you're there.’


Late Middle English: from Latin notio(n-) ‘idea’, from notus ‘known’, past participle of noscere.