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.

1560–70; < Latin nōtiōn- (stem of nōtiō) examination, idea, equivalent to nōt(us) past participle of nōscere (see notify) + -iōn- -ion

notionless, adjective

1, 3. See idea. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
notion (ˈnəʊʃən)
1.  a vague idea; impression
2.  an idea, concept, or opinion
3.  an inclination or whim
[C16: from Latin nōtiō a becoming acquainted (with), examination (of), from noscere to know]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1533 (implied in notional), from L. notionem (nom. notio) "concept," from notus, pp. of noscere "come to know" (see know). Coined by Cicero as a loan-translation of Gk. ennoia "act of thinking, notion, conception," or prolepsis "previous notion, previous conception." Notions
"miscellaneous articles" (1805, Amer.Eng.) springs from the idea of "clever invention."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
No one should be surprised by the notion of teaching as a performance, although
  some of you may be appalled at the idea.
In some ways this is an old notion, but it has new urgency in our increasingly
  idea-driven world.
To him, the idea of data that cannot be saved is almost as heretical as the
  notion of data that is not worth saving.
This notion is superficially puzzling.
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