AskDefine | Define not

Dictionary Definition

not adv : negation of a word or group of words; "he does not speak French"; "she is not going"; "they are not friends"; "not many"; "not much"; "not at all"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a UK
    • /nɒt/, /nQt/
  • a US
    • /nɑt/, /nAt/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒt



Middle English, compare nought


  1. Negates the meaning of the modified verb.
    I may be many things, but I am not a crook.
    Did you take out the trash? No, I did not.
    Not knowing any better, I went ahead.

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, do/does/did, can/could, shall/should, will/would, may/might, need):
  • They do not sow. (modern) vs. They sow not. (KJB)
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):
  • I don’t have a clue or I haven’t got a clue. (US)
  • I haven’t a clue or I haven't got a clue. (outside US)
  • I haven’t been to Spain. (universal)
The verb need is only directly negated when used as an auxiliary, and even this usage is rare in the US.
  • You don’t need to trouble yourself. (US)
  • You needn’t trouble yourself. (outside US)
  • I don’t need any eggs today. (universal)
The verb dare can sometimes be directly negated.
  • I daren't do that.
negates meaning of verb


  1. Indicates that the first term is the proper object, as opposed to the second.
    I wanted a plate of shrimp, not a bucket of chicken.
    Ballots, not bullets.


first rather than second term is proper object
  • Czech: ne, nikoliv
  • Dutch: geen, niet
  • Greek: όχι
  • Icelandic: ekki, ei (dated), eigi (dated)
  • Kurdish: نه‌ک
  • Portuguese: não
  • Spanish: no
  • Swedish: inte, icke, ej


  1. 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!



  • Icelandic: ekki
  • Swedish: inte


  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.


unary negation function
  • Finnish: EI
  • Swedish: ICKE, NOT

Related terms

See also



  1. a swim

Derived terms

  • notoj or bën not to swim




Derived terms



not ˈnuːt|lang=sv
  1. note.
  2. a short message; note.
  3. (diplomacy) a formal message from a country to another country’s embassy.
  1. the logical function NOT.



  1. a short message; note.

Extensive Definition

Not is the general declarative form of no, indicating a negative meaning relative to a related statement. Not may refer to:

Not as a negative

During the early 90's there was a fad among teens to use not as a negative. For example person 1: "I can lift 350 pounds without breaking a sweat" person 2: "Not!"

See also

not in Spanish: Puerta lógica#Puerta_NO_.28NOT.29
not in Esperanto: NOT
not in Italian: NOT
not in Dutch: NOT
not in Japanese: NOT
not in Norwegian: Not
not in Polish: NOT
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