[noh-shuh n]
See more synonyms for notion on
  1. a general understanding; vague or imperfect conception or idea of something: a notion of how something should be done.
  2. an opinion, view, or belief: That's his notion, not mine.
  3. conception or idea: his notion of democracy.
  4. a fanciful or foolish idea; whim: She had a notion to swim in the winter.
  5. an ingenious article, device, or contrivance; knickknack.
  6. 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 formsno·tion·less, adjective

Synonyms for notion

See more synonyms for on
1, 3. See idea. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for notion

Contemporary Examples of notion

Historical Examples of notion

  • 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.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for notion


  1. a vague idea; impression
  2. an idea, concept, or opinion
  3. an inclination or whim
See also notions

Word Origin for notion

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

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