English edit

Etymology edit

From Latin nōtiō (a becoming acquainted, a taking cognizance, an examination, an investigation, a conception, idea, notion), from nōscō (to know). Compare French notion. See know.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

notion (plural notions)

  1. Mental apprehension of whatever may be known, thought, or imagined; idea, concept.
    • 1704, I[saac] N[ewton], “(please specify |book=1 to 3)”, in Opticks: Or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. [], London: [] Sam[uel] Smith, and Benj[amin] Walford, printers to the Royal Society, [], →OCLC:
      What hath been generally agreed on, I content myself to assume under the notion of principles.
    • 1705-1715', George Cheyne, The Philosophical Principles of Religion Natural and Revealed
      there are few that agree in their Notions about them:.
    • 1725, Isaac Watts, Logick: Or, The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry after Truth, [], 2nd edition, London: [] John Clark and Richard Hett, [], Emanuel Matthews, [], and Richard Ford, [], published 1726, →OCLC:
      That notion of hunger, cold, sound, color, thought, wish, or fear which is in the mind, is called the "idea" of hunger, cold, etc.
    • 1859–1860, William Hamilton, edited by H[enry] L[ongueville] Mansel and John Veitch, Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), Edinburgh, London: William Blackwood and Sons, →OCLC:
      Notion, again, signifies either the act of apprehending, signalizing, that is, the remarking or taking note of, the various notes, marks, or characters of an object which its qualities afford, or the result of that act.
  2. A sentiment; an opinion.
    • 1715 April 13 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison, “The Free-holder: No. 30. Saturday, April 2. [1715.]”, in The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq; [], volume IV, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], published 1721, →OCLC:
      The extravagant notion they entertain of themselves.
    • December 2, 1832, John Henry Newman, Wilfulness, the Sin of Saul
      A perverse will easily collects together a system of notions to justify itself in its obliquity.
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, in Death on the Centre Court:
      “Anthea hasn't a notion in her head but to vamp a lot of silly mugwumps. She's set her heart on that tennis bloke [] whom the papers are making such a fuss about.”
  3. (obsolete) Sense; mind.
  4. (colloquial) An invention; an ingenious device; a knickknack.
    Yankee notions
  5. Any small article used in sewing and haberdashery, either for attachment to garments or as a tool, such as a button, zipper, or thimble.
  6. (colloquial) Inclination; intention; disposition.
    I have a notion to do it.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “notion”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin nōtiōnem (accusative singular nōtiōnem).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

notion f (plural notions)

  1. notion

Further reading edit