not - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    used for making negatives
    1. a.
      used for making a sentence, expression, or word negative

      He would not listen to anything she said.

      Barbara’s not coming to the party.

      I don’t feel sorry for her.

      Do not forget your promise.

      They told me not to worry.

      not even:

      The teacher could not even remember my name.

      The oven’s not even warm yet.

    2. b.
      used instead of repeating something in the negative
      or not:

      Are you coming with me or not?

      if not:

      I’ll probably see you on Sunday; if not, it’ll be Monday.

      hope/suppose/think etc not:

      ‘Is it going to be very expensive?’ ‘I hope not.’

  2. 2
    used for showing that you mean the opposite of the word or phrase that follows

    It’s not much fun living with a drug addict.

    I was astonished and not a little shocked by what she said.

    Not surprisingly, Greg forgot to bring the key.

  3. 3
    used for asking questions spoken
    1. a.
      used for forming a question when you expect the answer to be ‘yes

      Did you not get my letter?

      Isn’t it a beautiful day?

      That was easy, wasn’t it?

    2. b.
      used for forming questions that show you think someone should have done something

      Shouldn’t you have brought the washing in out of the rain?

      Did I not tell you to be ready by ten o’clock?

  4. 4
    used before a distance, length of time, amount etc to say that something is less than that amount

    We got there not five minutes before Fran arrived.

    He was not three miles from home when his car broke down.

     Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    spoken used for showing that you are surprised, annoyed, or disappointed by something that has just happened or that you have just heard about

    Oh no! Not another of Ronald’s stupid ideas.

See also