From Middle English not, nat, variant of noght, naht (“not, nothing”), from Old English *nōht, nāht (“nought, nothing”), short for nōwiht, nāwiht (“nothing”, literally “not anything”), corresponding to ne (“not”) + ōwiht, āwiht (“anything”), corresponding to ā (“ever, always”) + wiht (“thing, creature”). Cognate with Scots nat, naucht (“not”), Saterland Frisian nit (“not”), West Frisian net (“not”), Dutch niet (“not”), German nicht (“not”). Compare nought, naught and aught. More at no, wight, whit.
- (Received Pronunciation)
- (General American)
- Rhymes: -ɒt
- Homophone: knot
- Homophone: naught, nought (cot–caught merger)
not (not comparable)
- Negates the meaning of the modified verb.
- 1973 November 17, Richard Milhous Nixon, Orlando press conference:
- 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 59:
- 1998 January 26, William Jefferson Clinton, White House press conference:
- 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
- Did you take out the trash? No, I did not.
- Not knowing any better, I went ahead.
- To no degree.
- That is not red; it's green.
- Used to modify superlatives to indicate the opposite or near opposite.
- That day was not the best day of my life.
- It was not my favorite movie of all time.
In modern usage, do-support requires that the form do not ... (or don’t ...) is preferred to ... not for all but a short list of verbs (is/am/are/was/were, have/has/had, can/could, shall/should, will/would, may/might, must, need, ought):
- They do not sow. (modern) vs. They sow not. (KJB)
American usage tends to prefer don’t have or haven’t got to have not or haven’t, except when have is used as an auxiliary (or in the idiom have-not):
- I don’t have a clue or I haven’t got a clue. (US)
- I haven’t a clue or I haven’t got a clue. (outside US)
- I haven’t been to Spain. (universal)
The verb need is only directly negated when used as an auxiliary, and even this usage is rare, especially in the US.
- You don’t need to trouble yourself. (common)
- You needn’t trouble yourself. (outside US, rare)
- I don’t need any eggs today. (universal)
The verb dare can sometimes be directly negated.
- I daren't do that.
The verb do, as a main verb, takes do not.
- He does not do that.
In the imperative, all verbs, including be, take do not.
- Don't do that.
- Don't be silly. (not *Be not silly.)
In the infinitive, verbs must be negated directly. In this case not cannot appear after the verb; some authorities recommend placing it before to to avoid a split infinitive, but for most speakers the forms not to do and to not do are more or less interchangeable, with the latter being mostly informal.
- The objective is not to lose or The objective is to not lose.
- I wanted not to go or I wanted to not go. (Note the difference between this and I didn't want to go, where want is the verb being negated.)
- And not.
- I wanted a plate of shrimp, not a bucket of chicken.
- He painted the car blue and black, not solid purple.
- The construction “A, not B” is synonymous with the constructions “A, and not B”; “not B, but A”; and “not B, but rather A”.
- (slang, 1990s) Used to indicate that the previous phrase was meant sarcastically or ironically.
- I really like hanging out with my little brother watching Barney... not!
- Sure, you're perfect the way you are... not!
not (plural nots)
- alternative typography of
Boolean variables and states are commonly written in all uppercase in order to distinguish them from the ordinary uses of the words.
- (obsolete) Contraction of ; to know not.
- Geoffrey Chaucer's The Knight's Tale.
- I noot which was the fairer of hem two
- Geoffrey Chaucer's The Knight's Tale.
- dry wind from the south
- Alternative form of to swim
See the etymology of the main entry.
- imperative of
not n pl (plurale tantum)
- koma að notum (to be of use, to be useful)
- nota (“to use”)
not m (nominative plural notas)
- Swedish: not
- (Rumantsch Grischun, Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran) notg
not f (plural nots)
- (music) note.
- a short message; note.
- (diplomacy) a formal message from a country to another country’s embassy.
|Declension of not|
- a short message; note
- Not: Seni seviyorum. ― PS: I love you.