Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


expressing negation, denial, or prohibition: I will not answer your question.
Not to be confused with:
knot – cord, rope, ribbon, or the like that is tied or folded upon itself; a tangle in hair; a difficulty: a knotty problem
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


A logical operator that returns a false value if the operand is true and a true value if the operand is false.


In no way; to no degree. Used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition: I will not go. You may not have any.

[Middle English, alteration of naught, nought; see naught.]
Usage Note: The positioning of not and other negatives in a sentence is important to avoid ambiguity. The sentence All classes are not open to enrollment could be taken to mean either "All classes are closed to enrollment" or "Not all classes are open to enrollment." Similarly, the sentence Kim didn't sleep until noon could mean either "Kim went to sleep at noon" or "Kim got up before noon." · Not only and but also are usually classified as correlative conjunctions. They add emphasis to each part of the construction and suggest that the second part is particularly unexpected or surprising. As with both ... and and other correlatives, parallelism requires that each conjunction be followed by a construction of the same grammatical type. Thus, She not only bought a new car but also a new lawnmower displays faulty parallelism, where She bought not only a new car but also a new lawnmower does not, because both not only and but also are followed by noun phrases. See Usage Note at only.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a. used to negate the sentence, phrase, or word that it modifies: I will not stand for it.
b. (in combination): they cannot go.
2. not that (conjunction) which is not to say or suppose that: I expect to lose the game — not that I mind. Also (archaic): not but what
sentence substitute
used to indicate denial, negation, or refusal: certainly not.
[C14 not, variant of nought nothing, from Old English nāwiht, from no + wiht creature, thing. See naught, nought]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. (used to express negation, denial, refusal, prohibition, etc.): It's not far from here. Are they coming or not? You must not think about it.
2. Slang. (used jocularly as a postpositive interjection to indicate that a previous statement is untrue): That's a cute dress. Not!
[1275–1325; Middle English; weak variant of nought]


a Boolean operator that returns a positive result if its operand is negative and a negative result if its operand is positive.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Not is used with verbs to form negative sentences.

1. position of 'not'

You put not after the first auxiliary verb or modal, if there is one.

They are not seen as major problems.
They might not even notice.
Adrina realised that she had not been listening to him.

If there is no other auxiliary verb, you use do as the auxiliary verb. After not you use the base form of a verb.

The girl did not answer.
He does not speak English very well.

In conversation, when not is used after be, have, do, or a modal, it is not usually pronounced in full. When you write down what someone says, you usually represent not as n't and add it to the verb in front of it. In some cases, the verb also changes its form.

You nearly always use an auxiliary verb when you want to make a negative form of a verb using not. Don't say, for example, 'I not liked it' or 'I liked not it'. You say 'I didn't like it'.

There are two exceptions to this. When you use not with be, don't use an auxiliary verb. You simply put not after be.

I'm not sure about this.
The program was not a success.

When have is a main verb, not is sometimes added without an auxiliary verb, but only in the short forms hasn't, haven't, and hadn't.

You haven't any choice.
The sky hadn't a cloud in it.

However, it is more common to use the forms doesn't have, don't have, and didn't have.

This question doesn't have a proper answer.
We don't have any direct control of the prices.
I didn't have a cheque book.

Be Careful!
When you use not to make what you are saying negative, you don't usually use another negative word such as 'nothing', 'never', or 'none'. Don't say, for example, 'I don't know nothing about it'. You say 'I don't know anything about it'.

2. 'not really'

You can make a negative statement more polite or less strong by using really after not.

It doesn't really matter.
I don't really want to be part of it.

You can reply to some questions by saying 'Not really'.

3. 'not very'

When you make a negative statement using not and an adjective, you can make the statement less strong by putting very in front of the adjective.

I'm not very interested in the subject.
That's not a very good arrangement.

Be Careful!
Although you can say that something is not very good, don't use 'not' in front of other words meaning 'very good'. Don't say, for example, that something is 'not excellent' or 'not marvellous'.

4. used with to-infinitives

You can use not with a to-infinitive. You put not in front of to, not after it.

The Prime Minister has asked us not to discuss the issue publicly any more.
I decided not to go in.
5. 'not' in contrasts

You can use not to link two words or expressions. You do this to point out that something is the case, and to contrast it with what is not the case.

So they went by plane, not by car.
He is now an adult, not a child.

You can make a similar contrast by changing the order of the words or expressions. When you do this, you put not in front of the first word or expression and but in front of the second one.

This story is not about the past, but about the future.
He was caught, not by the police, but by a man who recognised him.
6. used with sentence adverbs

You can use not with surprisingly and unexpectedly to make a negative comment about a statement.

Laura, not surprisingly, disliked discussing the subject.
The great man had died, not unexpectedly and very quietly, in the night.
7. 'not all'

Not is sometimes used with all and with words beginning with every- to form the subject of a sentence. For example, instead of saying 'Some snakes are not poisonous', you can say 'Not all snakes are poisonous'.

Not all the houses have central heating.
Not everyone agrees with me.
8. 'not only'

Not only is often used with but or but also to link two words or phrases.

9. 'not' in short replies

You can use not at the end of a short reply in order to give your opinion. For example, you can say 'I hope not', 'Probably not', or 'Certainly not'.

'Will it happen again?' – 'I hope not.'
'I hope she won't die.' – 'Die? Certainly not!'
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.not - 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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
لَالا، لَنلا، لن: كَلِمَه تُسْتَعْمَل للنَّفي
... 아니다
nenėr už ką
ka nenolieguma partikula
değilyokinşallah yokmaalesef yok…-me/ma


[nɒt] ADV
1. (with vb)
often contracted to n't on the end of modals, auxiliaries and parts of the verb to be in everyday language
I'm not sureno estoy seguro
he's not here; he isn't hereno está aquí
it wasn't meyo no fui
it's too late, isn't it?es demasiado tarde, ¿no?
you owe me money, don't you?me debes dinero, ¿verdad? or (esp LAm) ¿no es cierto?
she won't go; she will not gono irá
I don't think she'll come nowya no creo que venga
he asked me not to do itme pidió que no lo hiciera
fear not!¡no temas!
I hope notespero que no
I suppose notsupongo que no
to tell sb not to do sthdecir a algn que no haga algo
I think notcreo que no
not thinking thatsin pensar que ...
2. (with pronoun etc) not oneni uno
not me/youyo/tú no
not I!¡yo no!
not everybody can do itno lo puede hacer cualquiera, no todos pueden hacerlo
not any moreya no
see also even B3
3. (in expressions)
absolutely not!¡en absoluto!
not at all (after verb) → no ... en absoluto; (responding to thanks) → ¡de nada!, ¡no hay de qué!
I don't mind at allno me importa en absoluto
it doesn't hurt at allno duele nada de nada, no duele para nada
"are you cold?" - "not at all!"-¿tienes frío? -¡en absoluto! or -¡qué va!
"you don't mind?" - "not at all!"-¿no te importa? -¡en absoluto!
he's not at all selfishno es nada egoísta
certainly not!¡en absoluto!
of course not!¡claro que no!
not a fewno pocos ...
not for anything (in the world)por nada (del mundo)
not guiltyno culpable
the not inconsiderable sum of £30,000la nada despreciable suma de 30.000 libras
not likely!¡ni hablar!
with not a little surprisecon no poca sorpresa
are you coming or not?¿vienes o no?
whether you go or nottanto si vas como si no
"did you like it?" - "not really"-¿te gustó? -no mucho
big, not to say enormousgrande, por no decir enorme
the young and the not so younglos jóvenes y los no tan jóvenes
I shan't be sorry to see the last of himno voy a sentirlo cuando lo pierda de vista
not that I don't like himno es que no me guste
not that I know ofno que yo sepa
why not?¿por qué no?
not without some regretsno sin cierto pesar
not yettodavía no
they haven't arrived yettodavía no han llegado
see also likely B
see also mention B
see also much B1
see also only B6
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈnɒt] adv
(with verb)ne ... pas
I'm not sure → Je ne suis pas sûr.
You must not do this → Tu ne dois pas faire ça.
He isn't at home.; He's not at home → Il n'est pas chez lui.
It's not raining.; It isn't raining → Il ne pleut pas.
You shouldn't do that → Tu ne devrais pas faire ça.
They haven't arrived yet → Ils ne sont pas encore arrivés.
(as clause substitute) or not → ou pas
Are you coming or not? → Est-ce que tu viens ou pas?
I hope not → j'espère que non
"Can you lend me £10?" - "I'm afraid not." → "Est-ce que tu peux me prêter dix livres?" - "Non, désolé."
not at all → pas du tout; (in answer to thanks)de rien
Thank you. - Not at all → Merci. - De rien.; (denying or contradicting)pas du tout
No, not at all → Non, pas du tout.
(with following adverb, pronoun, noun, determiner)pas
not really → pas vraiment
"Did you like the film?" - "Not really." → "Tu as aimé le film?" - "Pas vraiment."
not yet → pas encore
"Have you finished?" - "Not yet." → "As-tu fini?" - "Pas encore."
not me → pas moi
Who's going to do the washing-up? Not me → Qui va faire la vaisselle? Pas moi.
not even → même pas
There's not even a pub → Il n'y a même pas de bar.
not just → pas seulement
There is always a black market, not just in Britain → Il y a du marché noir partout, pas seulement en Grande-Bretagne.
not only → non seulement
These movies are not only making money; they were also perceived to be original → Non seulement ces films font de l'argent; ils étaient également considérés comme originaux.
not all
Not all the money had been used wisely → Tout l'argent n'avait pas été utilisé à bon escient.
not every
Not every applicant had a degree → Les candidats n'avaient pas tous de diplôme universitaire.
not one
Not one word was published → Pas un seul mot n'a été publié.
(= less than) → moins de
not five yards away → à moins de cinq mètres
not five minutes ago → il y a moins de cinq minutes
(making contrasts, contradictions)et non pas
Training is an investment, not a cost → La formation est un investissement et non pas un coût.
not because → non pas parce que
not that → non pas que
His death took me a year to get over; not that you're ever really over it → J'ai mis un an à me remettre de son décès; non pas qu'on s'en remette jamais vraiment.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nicht; he told me not to come/not to do thater sagte, ich solle nicht kommen/ich solle das nicht tun; do not or don’t comekommen Sie nicht; that’s how not to do itso sollte man es nicht machen; he was wrong in not making a protestes war falsch von ihm, nicht zu protestieren; not wanting to be heard, he …da er nicht gehört werden wollte, … er …; not I!ich nicht!; fear not! (old)fürchte dich nicht!
(emphatic) → nicht; not a sound/word etckein Ton/Wort etc, nicht EIN Ton/Wort etc; not a bitkein bisschen; not a sign of …keine Spur von …; not one of themkein Einziger, nicht einer; not a thingüberhaupt nichts; they were here not ten minutes agovor nicht einmal zehn Minuten waren sie noch hier; not any morenicht mehr; not yetnoch nicht; not evennicht einmal; not so (as reply) → nein; say not so (old)sag, dass es nicht wahr ist
(in tag or rhetorical questions) it’s hot, isn’t it? or (form) is it not?es ist heiß, nicht wahr or nicht? (inf); isn’t it hot?(es ist) heiß, nicht wahr?, ist das vielleicht heiß!; isn’t he naughty!ist er nicht frech?, (er ist) ganz schön frech, nicht! (inf); you are coming, aren’t you or are you not?Sie kommen doch, oder?; you have got it, haven’t you?Sie haben es doch, oder?, Sie haben es, nicht wahr?; you like it, don’t you? or (form) do you not?das gefällt dir, nicht (wahr)?; you are not angry, are you?Sie sind nicht böse, oder?; you are not angry - or are you?Sie sind doch nicht etwa böse?
(as substitute for clause) → nicht; is he coming? — I hope/I believe notkommt er? — ich hoffe/glaube nicht; it would seem or appear notanscheinend nicht; he’s decided not to do it — I should think/hope noter hat sich entschlossen, es nicht zu tun — das möchte ich auch meinen/hoffen
(elliptically) are you cold? — not at allist dir kalt? — überhaupt or gar nicht; thank you very much — not at allvielen Dank — keine Ursache or gern geschehen; not in the leastüberhaupt or gar nicht, nicht im Geringsten; not that I carenicht, dass es mir etwas ausmacht(e); not that I know ofnicht, dass ich wüsste; it’s not that I don’t believe himich glaube ihm ja, es ist ja nicht so, dass ich ihm nicht glaube
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[nɒt] advnon
he is not here → non è qui, non c'è
I haven't seen anybody → non ho visto nessuno
it's too late, isn't it? → è troppo tardi, vero? or no?
she will not or won't go → non ci andrà
he asked me not to do it → mi ha chiesto di non farlo
whether you go or not → che tu ci vada o no
not that I don't like him → non che (lui) non mi piaccia
big, not to say enormous → grosso, per non dire enorme
why not? → perché no?
I hope not → spero di no
not at all → niente affatto, per niente (after thanks) → prego, s'immagini
you must not or mustn't do this → non deve fare questo
not one book → neanche un libro
not me/you → io/tu no
not yet → non ancora
see also even, much, only
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(not) adverb
1. (often abbreviated to n't) a word used for denying, forbidding, refusing, or expressing the opposite of something. I did not see him; I didn't see him; He isn't here; Isn't he coming?; They told me not to go; Not a single person came to the party; We're going to London, not Paris; That's not true!
2. used with certain verbs such as hope, ~seem, ~believe, ~expect and also with be afraid. `Have you got much money?' `I'm afraid not'; `Is he going to fail his exam?' `I hope not'.
not at all
it does not matter; it is not important etc. `Thank you for helping me.' `Not at all.'
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


لَا ne ikke nicht δεν no ei pas ne non ・・・でない ... 아니다 niet ikke nie não нет inte ไม่ yok không
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


adv. no, de ningún modo;
___ at allde ninguna manera;
Why not?¿Por qué no?
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
Collins Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
But of the many falsehoods told by them, there was one which quite amazed me;--I mean when they said that you should be upon your guard and not allow yourselves to be deceived by the force of my eloquence.
The disseminators of this tale are the accusers whom I dread; for their hearers are apt to fancy that such enquirers do not believe in the existence of the gods.
He must have been far gone in consumption when I first knew him, for I have no recollection of a time when his voice was not faint and husky, his sweet smile wan, and his blue eyes dull with the disease that wasted him away,
People spoke of him as once strong and vigorous, but I recall him fragile and pale, gentle, patient, knowing his inexorable doom, and not hoping or seeking to escape it.
So likely too, seeing that I affirm injustice to be profitable and justice not.
CRITO: I should not have liked myself, Socrates, to be in such great trouble and unrest as you are--indeed I should not: I have been watching with amazement your peaceful slumbers; and for that reason I did not awake you, because I wished to minimize the pain.
The Clifton scheme had been deferred, not relinquished, and on the afternoon's crescent of this day, it was brought forward again.
But this is not the mark of all relatives; 'double' and 'triple' have no contrary, nor indeed has any such term.
SOCRATES: I have not a good memory, Meno, and therefore I cannot now tell what I thought of him at the time.
And firstly, if it be not entirely new, but is, as it were, a member of a state which, taken collectively, may be called composite, the changes arise chiefly from an inherent difficulty which there is in all new principalities; for men change their rulers willingly, hoping to better themselves, and this hope induces them to take up arms against him who rules: wherein they are deceived, because they afterwards find by experience they have gone from bad to worse.
(musing.) Nothing, fair cousin, nothing -- not even deep sorrow --
It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.