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[noht] /noʊt/
a brief record of something written down to assist the memory or for future reference.
notes, a record or outline of a speech, statement, testimony, etc., or of one's impressions of something.
an explanatory or critical comment, or a reference to some authority quoted, appended to a passage in a book or the like:
a note on the origin of the phrase.
a brief written or printed statement giving particulars or information.
Library Science. additional information about a work, such as its special series or some other significant identification, included on the library catalog entry.
a short, informal letter:
a thank-you note.
a formal diplomatic or official communication in writing:
a note delivered by the ambassador.
a paper acknowledging a debt and promising payment; promissory note.
a certificate, as of a government or a bank, accepted as money.
eminence, distinction, or reputation:
a man of note.
importance or consequence:
few events of particular note.
notice, observation, or heed:
to take note of warning signs; to be worthy of note.
a characteristic or distinguishing feature:
a note of whimsy in the design of the house.
a mark, quality, or indication of something, especially as a submerged but ubiquitous element:
There was just a note of bitterness in his films.
a characteristic way of speaking or thinking:
His critics had begun to change their note.
a signal, announcement, or intimation:
a note of warning in her voice.
  1. a sign or character used to represent a tone, its position and form indicating the pitch and duration of the tone.
  2. a key, as of a piano.
a tone sounded on a musical instrument.
a musical sound or tone.
a melody, tune, or song.
a sound of musical quality, as one uttered by a bird:
attentive to the thrush's note.
any call, cry, or sound of a bird, fowl, etc.
a new or unexpected element in a situation.
a mark or sign, as of punctuation, used in writing or printing.
verb (used with object), noted, noting.
to write or mark down briefly; make a memorandum of:
to note the places of interest.
to make particular mention of in a writing:
She noted their extra efforts in her report.
to annotate.
to observe carefully; give attention or heed to:
Note the fine brushwork in this painting.
to take notice of; perceive:
We noted his concern at the announcement.
to set down in or furnish with musical notes.
to indicate or designate; signify; denote.
compare notes, to exchange views, ideas, or impressions:
The returning tourists were sitting on the sun deck comparing notes.
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English (< Old French) < Medieval Latin nota sign for musical tone, Latin: mark, sign, lettering; (v.) Middle English noten < Old French noter to mark < Latin notāre, derivative of the noun
Related forms
noter, noun
prenote, noun, verb (used with object), prenoted, prenoting.
subnote, noun
undernote, noun
unnoting, adjective
1. memorandum, minute. 3. commentary, annotation. See remark. 9. bill. 10. repute, celebrity, fame, renown, name. 25. register, record. 29. see, spot, remark. 31. mention. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for note
  • People and accounts of note in the advertising industry.
  • Retrieve your note cards as outlines, citations,and flashcards.
  • note differences in amount of houses and apartments, size of yards, and amount of green space.
  • My momma taught me to always, always write a thank you note when someone has given his or her time for your benefit.
  • Please include the packing slip that came with your item or a note with your name, address, and the reason for the return.
  • note that the stove is not a period piece-no avocado or goldenrod appliances in sight.
  • Cynics note that the muddled customs regime in the breakaway region is lucrative for outsiders and insiders alike.
  • Below, a note advises check writers to use their dental records in lieu of the usual forms of identification.
  • note that heavy feeding of either type in spring leads to excessive leafy growth, soft fruit, and fruit rot.
  • And note that leaving a comment on this article will not enter you in the giveaway.
British Dictionary definitions for note


a brief summary or record in writing, esp a jotting for future reference
a brief letter, usually of an informal nature
a formal written communication, esp from one government to another
a short written statement giving any kind of information
a critical comment, explanatory statement, or reference in the text of a book, often preceded by a number
short for banknote
a characteristic element or atmosphere: a note of sarcasm
a distinctive vocal sound, as of a species of bird or animal: the note of the nightingale
any of a series of graphic signs representing a musical sound whose pitch is indicated by position on the stave and whose duration is indicated by the sign's shape
Also called (esp US and Canadian) tone. a musical sound of definite fundamental frequency or pitch
a key on a piano, organ, etc
a sound, as from a musical instrument, used as a signal or warning: the note to retreat was sounded
short for promissory note
(archaic or poetic) a tune or melody
of note
  1. distinguished or famous: an athlete of note
  2. worth noticing or paying attention to; important: nothing of note
strike the right note, to behave appropriately
strike a false note, to behave inappropriately
(often foll by of) take note, to observe carefully; pay close attention (to)
verb (transitive; may take a clause as object)
to notice; perceive: he noted that there was a man in the shadows
to pay close attention to; observe: they noted every movement
to make a written note or memorandum of: she noted the date in her diary
to make particular mention of; remark upon: I note that you do not wear shoes
to write down (music, a melody, etc) in notes
to take (an unpaid or dishonoured bill of exchange) to a notary public to re-present the bill and if it is still unaccepted or unpaid to note the circumstances in a register See protest (sense 12)
a less common word for annotate
See also notes
Derived Forms
noteless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin nota sign, indication
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 note

c.1200, "observe, take mental note of, mark carefully," from Old French noter "indicate, designate; take note of, write down," from Latin notare "to mark, to note, to make a note," from nota "mark, sign, note, character, letter" (see note (n.)). Meaning "to set in writing" is from early 14c. Related: Noted; noting.


c.1300, "a song, music, instrumental music; a musical note," from Latin nota "letter, character, note," originally "a mark, sign, means of recognition," which is perhaps related to notus, past participle of noscere (Old Latin *gnoscere) "to know" (see know). Meaning "notice, attention, reputation" is early 14c. Meaning "brief writing" is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for note
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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Idioms and Phrases with note
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for note

in the notation of Western music, sign indicating pitch by its position on the staff and showing duration by its shape. Notes evolved in the 13th century from neumes (q.v.), signs indicating relative or absolute pitch and nuance but not necessarily rhythm. The earliest notes were the longa, , and brevis, ; and their derivatives, the maxima, , and semibrevis, . In modern notation the brevis and semibrevis correspond to the double whole note, , and the whole note, . Other modern notes, in diminishing time value, are the half note, ; quarter note, ; eighth note, ; sixteenth note, ; thirty-second note, ; and sixty-fourth note, . Generally, music notation has favoured shorter note values in modern times.

Learn more about note with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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