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[noh-shuh n] /ˈnoʊ ʃən/
a general understanding; vague or imperfect conception or idea of something:
a notion of how something should be done.
an opinion, view, or belief:
That's his notion, not mine.
conception or idea:
his notion of democracy.
a fanciful or foolish idea; whim:
She had a notion to swim in the winter.
an ingenious article, device, or contrivance; knickknack.
notions, small articles, as buttons, thread, ribbon, and other personal items, especially such items displayed together for sale, as in a department store.
Origin of notion
1560-70; < Latin nōtiōn- (stem of nōtiō) examination, idea, equivalent to nōt(us) past participle of nōscere (see notify) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
notionless, adjective
1, 3. See idea. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for notion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But it was always my notion, that children should not dispute their parents' authority.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But I more wonder, how he came to have a notion of meeting me in this place?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Some notion of its extent may be gathered from the fact that he possessed 120 cows.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • For she thought in the night he will forget his notion, as had often been the case, and he will have some other fancy.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • He rattled the snaffle in his mouth with nervous indecision—he had a notion to try it.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
British Dictionary definitions for notion


a vague idea; impression
an idea, concept, or opinion
an inclination or whim
See also notions
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nōtiō a becoming acquainted (with), examination (of), from noscere to know
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for notion

late 14c., from Latin notionem (nominative notio) "concept, conception, idea, notice," noun of action from past participle stem of noscere "come to know" (see know). Coined by Cicero as a loan-translation of Greek ennoia "act of thinking, notion, conception," or prolepsis "previous notion, previous conception."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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