9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[noh-shuh n] /ˈnoʊ ʃən/
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
Related forms
notionless, adjective
1, 3. See idea. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for notions
  • These are not unreasonable notions, but there is also no positive evidence to suggest that they are correct, either.
  • To recognize them you have to shed your pre-9/11 notions and embrace today's travel reality.
  • As the disease took on the dimensions of a plague, it swept away notions that great pandemics belong to history.
  • Some astoundingly dark and retrograde notions openly circulate in reactionary churches and on nationalist websites.
  • And the richest among them are redefining those notions once again.
  • She has watched the old-style drug store evolve into an emporium devoted to the sale of notions.
  • Such notions were useful to bureaucratic elites determined to reduce social and economic problems to technical ones.
  • Perhaps the main problem concerns uncritically accepted notions of progress and modernity.
  • It does not flatter the understanding by conformity with preconceived notions.
  • We forgive them for entertaining such notions, but forbid their practice.
British Dictionary definitions for notions


plural noun
(mainly US & Canadian) pins, cotton, ribbon, and similar wares used for sewing; haberdashery


a vague idea; impression
an idea, concept, or opinion
an inclination or whim
See also notions
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for notions

"miscellaneous articles," 1805, American English, from notion with the idea of "clever invention."



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for notion

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for notions

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with notions