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[not] /nɒt/
(used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition):
You must not do that. It's not far from here.
U.S. Slang. (used jocularly as a postpositive interjection to indicate that a previous statement is untrue):
That's a lovely dress. Not!
not so much, Informal. (an expression of dismissive scorn, ambivalence, or skepticism): Attractive? Yes. Smart? Not so much.
Is the world coming to an end? Yeah, not so much.
1275-1325; Middle English; weak variant of nought
Can be confused
knot, not.


variant of noto- before a vowel.


[not] /nɒt/
a Boolean operator that returns a positive result if its operand is negative and a negative result if its operand is positive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for not
  • Experts say it's probably not the mattress that keeps you up at night.
  • Money can bring you happiness, studies show, but not as much as you might think.
  • Of course, if not done completely, the result is trans fat.
  • Also weird is that while borrowing from one language to another is common, borrowing grammar is not nearly as common.
  • In today's polarized climate, it is not uncommon to hear opposition to anything labeled climate-friendly or green.
  • not likely, but keep it in the back of your head as possible cause.
  • Growing underground, tubers are not limited by the rest of the plant.
  • Synthetic herbicides are not recommended for food gardens.
  • It's quite another to insist that it's not even a war.
  • But the headlines about the study did not always reflect that.
British Dictionary definitions for not


  1. used to negate the sentence, phrase, or word that it modifies: I will not stand for it
  2. (in combination): they cannot go
(conjunction) not that, which is not to say or suppose that: I expect to lose the game — not that I mind Also (archaic) not but what
sentence substitute
used to indicate denial, negation, or refusal: certainly not
Word Origin
C14 not, variant of nought nothing, from Old English nāwiht, from no + wiht creature, thing. See naught, nought


combining form
a variant of noto-
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 not

negative particle, mid-13c., unstressed variant of noht, naht "in no way" (see naught). As an interjection to negate what was said before or reveal it as sarcasm, it is first attested 1900; popularized 1989 by "Wayne's World" sketches on "Saturday Night Live" TV show. To not know X from Y (one's ass from one's elbow, shit from Shinola, etc.) was a construction first attested c.1930. Double negative construction not un- was derided by Orwell, but is persistent and ancient in English, popular with Milton and the Anglo-Saxon poets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for not



What has just been stated is emphatically not true: Millions of animals in experimental labs die annually. Shock value? NOT!/ Hooray for Pat Buchanan, not!/ Dan Quayle has already filmed a commercial declaring Murphy Brown his favorite show ...''not'' (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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not in Technology

The Boolean function which is true only if its input is false. Its truth table is:
A | NOT A --+---------- F | T T | F

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with not


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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