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, Richard Nixon.
- Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got.
- Did you take out the trash? No, I did not.
- Not knowing any better, I went ahead.
- 1973, Richard Nixon.
- To no degree
- That is not red; it's orange.
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)
- Unary logical function NOT, true if input is false, or a gate implementing that negation function.
- You need a not there to conform with the negative logic of the memory chip.
- dry wind from the south
- Alternative form of to swim
- (mechanics) A groove.
- imperative of
- Rhymes: -ɔːt
not n pl (plurale tantum)
- koma að notum (to be of use, to be useful)
- inflected form of
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.
|Inflection of not|
- a short message; note
Not: Seni seviyorum. ― PS: I love you.