Meaning of NOTION in English


no ‧ tion W3 AC /ˈnəʊʃ ə n $ ˈnoʊ-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: notio , from notus ; ⇨ ↑ notice 2 ]

1 . an idea, belief, or opinion

notion of

misguided notions of male superiority

The traditional notion of marriage goes back thousands of years.

She had only a vague notion of what she wanted to do.

notion that

the notion that human beings are basically good

She had no notion what he meant.

accept/challenge/reject etc a notion

They reject the notion of group guilt.

2 . notions [plural] American English small things such as thread and buttons that are used for sewing

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■ verbs

▪ have a notion

He didn’t have a clear notion of what he had to do.

▪ accept a notion

Probably 95% of scientists now accept the notion that human activity is causing climate change.

▪ support a notion

There is no evidence to support the notion that girls are treated better than boys in school.

▪ reinforce a notion (=make an idea stronger or easier to believe)

The research reinforces the notion that fathers have an important role in their children’s lives.

▪ challenge/dispute a notion

Copernicus challenged the notion that the sun goes around the earth.

▪ reject/dismiss a notion

Aristotle rejected the notion that the body and the soul are separate.

■ adjectives

▪ a vague notion (=an unclear idea)

He had only a vague notion of what might happen next.

▪ an absurd/ridiculous notion

They had the ridiculous notion that they could make a living from singing.

▪ a simple notion

You cannot rate the project according to a simple notion of ‘value for money’: there are too many factors involved.

▪ an abstract notion

In art, how can you represent abstract notions such as peace or justice?

▪ a romantic notion (=one that is based on how you want something to be, not how it is in real life)

He rejected the romantic notion of rugby as a game for gentlemen.

▪ a preconceived notion (=an idea that you have before you have enough knowledge or experience)

The police were accused of twisting the evidence to meet their preconceived notion of his guilt.

▪ an accepted/received notion (=an idea that most people believe)

These women challenged accepted notions of female roles in society.

▪ the whole notion of something (=used to emphasize that you are talking about a lot of related ideas, not just one specific idea)

The movie makes us question the whole notion of what makes a hero.

■ phrases

▪ not have the faintest/foggiest notion (=not know or understand something at all)

He had not the foggiest notion how far he might have to walk.

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▪ idea something that you think of, especially something that you could do or suggest:

I think that’s an excellent idea.


Let me know if you have any good ideas.

▪ thought something that comes into your mind:

The thought had entered my mind that he might be lying.


It was a worrying thought.


She was lost in her thoughts.

▪ impression the idea that you have in your mind about what someone or something is like:

What was your impression of him?

▪ inspiration a good and original idea, which makes you think of doing or creating something:

Where did you get your inspiration from for the book?


He suddenly had a flash of inspiration.


The design for the house was entirely the inspiration of the architect.

▪ brainwave British English , brainstorm American English a sudden new and clever idea, especially one that solves a problem:

I thought I’d have to sell the house, but then I had a brainwave.

▪ concept an idea of how something is, or how something should be done:

Concepts of beauty are different in different cultures.


the traditional concept of marriage

▪ notion an idea about life or society, especially one that is a little silly or old-fashioned:

There is no evidence to support the notion that poverty is caused by laziness.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.