[ noh-tey-shuh n ]
/ noʊˈteɪ ʃən /


a system of graphic symbols for a specialized use, other than ordinary writing: musical notation.
the process or method of noting or setting down by means of a special system of signs or symbols.
the act of noting, marking, or setting down in writing.
a note, jotting, or record; annotation: notations in the margin.

Origin of notation

1560–70; < Latin notātiōn- (stem of notātiō) a marking, equivalent to notāt(us) (past participle of notāre to note) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for notational


/ (nəʊˈteɪʃən) /


any series of signs or symbols used to represent quantities or elements in a specialized system, such as music or mathematics
the act or process of notating
  1. the act of noting down
  2. a note or record
Derived Formsnotational, adjective

Word Origin for notation

C16: from Latin notātiō a marking, from notāre to note
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

Word Origin and History for notational



1560s, "explanation of a term," from Middle French notation and directly from Latin notationem (nominative notatio) "a marking, notation, designation; etymology; shorthand; explanation," noun of action from past participle stem of notare "to note" (see note (v.)). Meaning "note, annotation" is from 1580s. Meaning "system of representing numbers or quantities by signs or symbols" is attested from 1706. Related: Notational.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper