Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of not
Meaning of not by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English not, nat, variant of noght, naht ( “not, nothing” ), from Old English *nōht, nāht ( “nought, nothing” ), short for nōwiht, nāwiht ( “nothing”, literally “no thing, no creature” ), corresponding to nā ( “no” ) + wiht ( “thing, creature” ). Cognate with Scots nat, naucht ( “not” ), West Frisian net ( “not” ), Dutch niet ( “not” ), German nicht ( “not” ). Compare nought and aught. More at no, wight .


    • ( UK )
      • IPA: /nɒt/, X-SAMPA: /nQt/
    • ( US )
      • IPA: /nɑt/, X-SAMPA: /nAt/
    • Rhymes: -ɒt
    • Homophone: knot, naught ( some dialects )


    not ( not comparable )

    1. Negates the meaning of the modified verb.
      Did you take out the trash? No, I did not .
      Not knowing any better, I went ahead .
    2. To no degree
      That is not red; it's orange .

    Usage notes

    In modern usage, the form do not ... ( or don’t ... ) is preferred to ... not for all but a short list of verbs ( is/am/are/was/were, have/has/had, can/could, shall/should, will/would, may/might, need ):

    American usage tends to prefer don’t have or haven’t got to have not or haven’t, except when have is used as an auxiliary ( or in the idiom have-not ):

    The verb need is only directly negated when used as an auxiliary, and even this usage is rare in the US .

    The verb dare can sometimes be directly negated .



    1. And not .
      I wanted a plate of shrimp, not a bucket of chicken .
      He painted the car blue and black, not solid purple .

    Usage notes



    1. ( slang, 1990s ) Used to indicate that the previous phrase was meant sarcastically or ironically .
      I really like hanging out with my little brother watching Barney... not!
      Sure, you're perfect the way you are... not!


    See also


    not ( plural: nots )

    1. Unary logical function NOT, true if input is false, or a gate implementing that negation function .
      You need a not there to conform with the negative logic of the memory chip .

    Related terms

    • NOR

    See also

    • AND
    • OR
    • NAND
    • XOR

    See also


    • frequency based on Project Gutenberg corpus">Most common English words before 1923: as · had · you · #18: not · be · at · by


    • Ont, Ont., TNO, ton

Explanation of not by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. negation of a word or group of words

    2. he does not speak French
      she is not going
      they are not friends
      not many
      not much
      not at all

    Definition of not by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Not [Contr. from ne wot. See 2d Note.] Wot not; know not; knows not. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    2. Not, a. Shorn; shaven. [Obs.] See Nott.

    3. Not, adv. [OE. not, noht, nought, naught, the same word as E. naught. See Naught.] A word used to express negation, prohibition, denial, or refusal.

      Not one word spake he more than was need. Chaucer.

      Thou shalt not steal. Ex. xx. 15.

      Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. Job vii. 8.

      The question is, may I do it, or may I not do it? Bp. Sanderson.

      Not . . . but, or Not but, only. [Obs. or Colloq.] Chaucer.