Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

not - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb not pronunciation in British English /nɒt/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  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 all children have the opportunity for pre-school education.
      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 beyes
      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.



a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog