notion

[ noh-shuhn ]
/ ˈnoʊ ʃən /

noun

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

OTHER WORDS FROM notion

no·tion·less, adjective

synonym study for notion

1, 3. See idea.

historical usage of notion

The English noun notion “general understanding, opinion” comes from Latin nōtiō (stem nōtiōn- ), a derivative of the verb nōscere “to know” and -tiō, an abstract noun suffix here denoting a state (rather than an action).
In the comedies of Plautus, nōtiō meant “acquaintance (with a person).” In legal and juridical language, nōtiō meant “examination, inquiry (by a magistrate).” The usual meaning of notion we owe to Cicero, the Roman orator, statesman, and man of letters, who created a technical philosophical vocabulary for Latin almost single-handedly in order to translate concepts in Greek philosophy. In his Topica (31), Cicero explains his usage of nōtiō : “I mean by notion what the Greeks call énnoia [‘thinking, reflection, notion, concept’] or prólēpsis [‘preconception, mental picture’].”
The plural notions “small articles, such as buttons, thread, ribbon, etc., displayed together for sale” was an Americanism that first appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1796.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for notion

British Dictionary definitions for notion

notion
/ (ˈnəʊʃən) /

noun

a vague idea; impression
an idea, concept, or opinion
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