Definition of not in English:

not

(also Not)

adverb

  • 1

    (also n't)
    Used with an auxiliary verb or ‘be’ to form the negative.

    ‘he would not say’
    ‘she isn't there’
    ‘didn't you tell me?’
    • ‘Not only are we not allowed to cycle any more, we are not allowed to ride the trams either.’
    • ‘On what grounds Pilger is supposed to be disturbed we are not allowed to know.’
    • ‘Showmans Guild will not be allowed to change terms and conditions of membership.’
    • ‘Now it turns out that certain people were not allowing him to do what he judged was best.’
    • ‘We feel developers should not be allowed to get away with extensions like this.’
    • ‘The charity has said it may have to look for a site outside the county if work is not allowed to go ahead at the country park.’
    • ‘And she was not allowed to leave the building through the front door for most of the day.’
    • ‘Boozers in three of the area's busiest pubs will not be allowed to have a fag with their pint from next year.’
    • ‘We're not even allowed to put satellite dishes up but they're putting up a massive tower.’
    • ‘Anyone deemed unfit to travel due to alcohol will not be allowed on the coach.’
    • ‘The court would not have allowed her release if she was a risk to the public.’
    • ‘They expressed a wish to do a parachute jump from the tower then but were not allowed.’
    • ‘Having been out of the team for so long, he will not allow himself to rely on this change of fortune lasting.’
    • ‘Wilmut and his team insist they will not allow the cloned embryos to develop beyond an early stage.’
    • ‘The police claim that the jury was not allowed to hear much important evidence.’
    • ‘I will not allow my extremely young Juliet to have caffeine before the performance.’
    • ‘Here was someone who did not allow the horrific hand of commercialism to dilute his message.’
    • ‘We know how dangerous the volcano is and we must not allow it to claim any more lives.’
    • ‘Kimberley was not allowed on the main road, but had decided to tag along on her pink mountain bike.’
    • ‘I feel saddened that we live in a society where innocent mistakes are not allowed.’
    1. 1.1Used in some constructions with other verbs.
      with infinitive ‘he has been warned not to touch’
      ‘the pain of not knowing’
      ‘she not only wrote the text but also researched the photographs’
      • ‘You are warned not to touch the banisters in the empty, crumbling flats of Craigmillar.’
      • ‘Members of the public are warned not to try to coax down the eagle themselves.’
      • ‘His civil servants have been warned not to ask him to do anything sedentary on July 2.’
      • ‘He came over to the UK, but Warner in London warned him not to go south of the river.’
      • ‘However, Lisa comes right back on the offensive and warns her not to say a thing.’
      • ‘Young people are warned not to give out any personal details that could be used to identify them.’
      • ‘I have been given a sign today, and it would be remiss of me not to warn the rest of you.’
      • ‘The supervisor warned me not to use my phone in the store, but said nothing about me being fired.’
      • ‘Waldi warns us not to set up our beds outside the camp tonight as hyenas and jackals prowl this area.’
      • ‘It is warning consumers not to forget about these charges when they choose a credit card.’
      • ‘We were warned not to use the upper floor as it was considered unsafe and was closed to the public.’
      • ‘The doctor admitted she had forgotten to warn me not to fly soon after a procedure.’
      • ‘Families on an estate have been warned not to do any gardening after a toxic waste alert.’
      • ‘That should warn people not to write us off but it should also serve as a reminder to our own fans.’
      • ‘In Lima, a Peruvian guide warned us not to go out on foot and, if so, to walk briskly.’
      • ‘A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency urged the public not to touch any dead fish.’
      • ‘They told me to keep mother and baby warm and not to touch the umbilical cord.’
      • ‘When her neighbours heard her screaming in pain, they decided not to get involved.’
      • ‘Scotland's public galleries seem determined not to allow such a situation to recur.’
      • ‘They have recognised the need to save and reopen the Odeon, not to allow it to be replaced by a herb garden.’
  • 2Used as a short substitute for a negative clause.

    ‘maybe I'll regret it, but I hope not’
    ‘‘Don't you keep in touch?’ ‘I'm afraid not’’
    ‘they wouldn't know if I was telling the truth or not’
    • ‘Mum Allison is hoping to hear news today on whether or not she can donate bone marrow to Joshua.’
    • ‘Travel pages disclose if the writer was a guest of the organizers of the tour or not.’
    • ‘It's been reported that he also looks after a lady, whether he knows her or not.’
    • ‘Still in two minds, though I think it might end up depending on whether it's raining or not.’
    • ‘It took me forever to decide whether or not I wanted to post a weekend post on my blog.’
    • ‘I can assure you, like it or not, I will post often and certainly more than just five times!’
    • ‘It doesn't really matter if you like the movie or not, just going for the ride is a hoot.’
    • ‘I will be a hundred years old before they decide whether they actually want to develop it, or not.’
    • ‘The question isn't really whether editors can be granted copyright for their work or not.’
    • ‘I will be making my decision on whether to stand for Mayor or not in the next few weeks.’
    • ‘One thing we can all be sure is being collected, part of the village or not, is our council tax each month.’
    • ‘Brain damage or not, she was going to walk, talk and get her life back on track.’
    • ‘Regardless of whether or not you work from home, a small study area is a useful addition to a property.’
    • ‘I don't go out much, I just sit at home and wait to hear if she's at the unit or not.’
    • ‘All incidents where glass was damaged were included whether reported to the police or not.’
    • ‘We've got to start making changes to the way we live, whether we like it or not.’
    • ‘The system is so complicated that if people are awarded a credit, there is no way of knowing if it is right or not.’
    • ‘The days are gone when I am going to get nervous about games or worry about whether or not I play well.’
    • ‘Believe it or not, there are people out there who think we need more television.’
    • ‘I'm not knocking the luckless officer, who is going to be in trouble whether or not he had a beer.’
  • 3Used to express the negative of other words.

    ‘not a single attempt was made’
    ‘treating the symptoms and not the cause’
    ‘‘How was it?’ ‘Not so bad.’’
    • ‘The blue haired girl stood in silence not hearing a single word the doctor had just spoke.’
    • ‘There wasn't a single bad performance all night, not a single dropped note or missed key.’
    • ‘Instead, it is moving in reverse, which to American minds must be worse than not moving at all.’
    • ‘I have a friend who likes even my bad sermons, but not even he liked my sermon that day.’
    • ‘For more than an hour, I sat with an empty cup and not one single passer-by even glanced at me.’
    • ‘Drugs are very, very dangerous, not because they are bad, but because they are good.’
    • ‘One in particular could have had a really bad outcome had it not been for a smoke alarm.’
    • ‘Often it is not possible for everyone to agree to stay in jail for solidarity purposes.’
    • ‘Working conditions should surely be the same for everyone and not just a chosen few.’
    • ‘The most common is to label everyone who is not obviously a slave or a free man a serf.’
    • ‘The widening powers of the state were agreed to be beneficial not only in wartime but in peace as well.’
    • ‘My father joined me the next day and we not surprisingly returned to the same area.’
    • ‘As a result, he was getting through a not insignificant quantity of opiates to handle the pain.’
    • ‘So sit back and watch the gang as they grow up, but not apart, ten years in the future.’
    • ‘It was one of those situations where we needed a reaction within two days, not ten days.’
    • ‘Beattie can be a belligerent figure, quick of feet but not always of mind on the pitch.’
    • ‘To her surprise he not only replies but also invites her to interview him at his house.’
    • ‘She sighed and got to her feet, not remembering how she had gotten to bed in the early hours of the morning.’
    • ‘The ball struck him and the referee then dismissed him for not retreating ten yards.’
    • ‘Familiarity with No Angel makes it not surprising at all that she usually writes in bed.’
    1. 3.1Used with a quantifier to exclude a person or part of a group.
      ‘not all the poems are serious’
      • ‘I think she is a brave woman because not everyone is sympathetic to domestic violence.’
      • ‘It sounds perfectly reasonable, but not everyone in Australia will see it that way.’
      • ‘However, not everyone is in favour of the move away from more traditional schemes.’
      • ‘There are the large venues, but not everyone has hundreds of friends and relatives.’
      • ‘Everyone wants a new school, but not everyone believes the chosen site is the right one.’
      • ‘Given that they sold very quickly, it is clear not everyone wants to live in the suburbs.’
      • ‘It might have been the gig of this year or any other, but not everyone was in thrall to the bands.’
      • ‘Due to this decline not everyone will be infected before the disease dies out.’
      • ‘There was a difference between the two, and not everyone could clearly detect it.’
      • ‘Krause maintains that not everyone joins the Friends or stays a member for the same reason.’
      • ‘However convincing, not everyone is won over by the results of the gender research.’
      • ‘Please realise that not everyone in this country is as ignorant or shallow as these people.’
      • ‘In an increasingly mobile world, not everyone has a fixed desktop on which to place one.’
      • ‘So not everyone who called themselves a fascist was one in the sense in which we are interested.’
      • ‘Remember though it is a skill and not everyone needs to learn, don't obsess about it!’
      • ‘My point here is that not everyone is like you or I or the rest of this messy site.’
      • ‘Don't let bad reviews get you down because not everyone is going to like your music!’
      • ‘The results indicate that not all functional elements have the same accuracy order.’
    2. 3.2No more than (used to indicate a surprisingly small quantity)
      ‘the brakes went on not ten feet from him’
      • ‘The creak of a loose floorboard made her turn in distress to see the man not ten feet from her.’
      • ‘And that thing that you put down not ten minutes ago should shout, so you can find it.’
  • 4Used in understatements to suggest that the opposite of a following word or phrase is true.

    ‘the not too distant future’
    ‘not a million miles away’
    • ‘The story goes that London is invaded by demons in the not too distant future.’
    • ‘This is an exhibition of ideas and what could be in the not so distant future.’
    • ‘It sounds unlikely, but it's not a million miles from the situation in the visual arts.’
    • ‘I look forward to us all getting together again sometime in the not too distant future.’
    • ‘We will certainly be seeking to take out a warrant in the not too distant future.’
    • ‘No doubt I will be back the area in the not too distant future and I will be able to fish Tree Meadow again.’
    • ‘They are not a million miles away from being good enough to lift a trophy or break into the top six or seven in the league.’
    • ‘The film clearly states a bleak depiction of man versus machine in the not too distant future.’
    • ‘In the not too distant future, I can see a time when we have another bubble waiting to burst.’
    • ‘So if anyone fancies an obscure trip in the not too distant future, just let me know.’
    disinclined, reluctant, averse, loath, indisposed, not in the mood, slow, not about
    1. 4.1informal, humorous Following and emphatically negating a statement.
      ‘that sounds like quality entertainment—not’

noun

often NOT
  • 1Electronics
    A Boolean operator with only one variable that has the value one when the variable is zero and vice versa.

    1. 1.1A circuit which produces an output signal only when there is not a signal on its input.

adjective

Art
  • (of paper) not hot-pressed, and having a slightly textured surface.

Phrases

    not at all
    • 1Definitely not.

      ‘‘You don't mind?’ ‘Not at all.’’
      • ‘I thrive on this time of year and do not at all mind the darkening of the days.’
      • ‘Bearing this in mind, it is not at all surprising that charges of abuse of process gained momentum.’
      • ‘I do not at all mind if Will somehow finds this out, but I met many a fine young man that afternoon.’
      • ‘The air between them was still hot with passion and their minds were not at all set on school.’
      • ‘It is not at all what I had expected: but then, most people have no idea what asparagus looks like when it is growing.’
      • ‘The parents are terrified, their fears not at all eased by being referred to a brain surgeon.’
      • ‘This is not at all what a government website for the promotion of a nation's tourism should look like.’
      • ‘In Louisbourg, a few people had flooding problems, but not at all on the scale of other areas.’
      • ‘I hasten to add that it is not that we want to pay more for our groceries - not at all.’
      • ‘Except that he was not at all, not even remotely, for a single second, funny.’
    • 2Used as a polite response to thanks.

    not a thing
    • Nothing at all.

      • ‘Now after 30-odd years of work he has not a thing to show.’
      • ‘And liberty or freedom would have had not a thing to do with it.’
      • ‘He had not a thing in the world but bluff and his own ego, his own will.’
      • ‘If it is false, then there is not a thing that the government can do to clear its name.’
      • ‘After you have been holding family meetings for several months, you may notice some week that meeting day has arrived and there is not a thing on the agenda.’
      • ‘Di looked the two over and found not a thing in common.’
      • ‘There's not a thing that's magical about a computer.’
      • ‘This bill does nothing for youth offending - not a thing.’
      • ‘The Island, like Bay, delivers what's expected, and not a thing more.’
      • ‘This has nothing to do with young people drinking - not a thing; because if it had, the Government would target the alcopops.’
      • ‘So about 18 months later we have this bill before the House, but it will do nothing to change those circumstances - not a thing.’
      • ‘And there's not a thing that anyone in Ireland is doing about it.’
      • ‘We did not hear a jot about that from Dr Brash - not a thing.’
      • ‘There's not a thing on this world you could have done to stop us.’
      • ‘I spent the whole day buying presents for him and the baby - not a thing for myself - all for my two great loves.’
      • ‘He laughed to the sky and sauntered away to his home in the night, happy-go-lucky and thinking he had not a thing to worry over.’
      • ‘His skin was smooth and without calluses; not a thing like Jessam's hands, I knew.’
      • ‘Even had he not a thing to do that day and business slow, his office itself would have offered any amount of distractions.’
      • ‘That happened 18 months to 2 years ago, and this Government did nothing - not a thing.’
      • ‘Actually, there is not a thing for us to worry about on the policy front.’
    not that
    • It is not to be inferred that.

      ‘I'll never be allowed back—not that I'd want to go back’
      • ‘Even the most pretentious of wine snobs, not that I know any, can expect to be amazed at Bacar.’
      • ‘I felt her tilt her head back to look at me, not that she would have seen anything in the dark.’
      • ‘He may even have been present at my 18th birthday do - not that I can remember much about it.’
      • ‘It is supposed to be easier to win a title than it is to retain it, not that Glasgow Hawks noticed.’
      • ‘There is also a sense that he is free to speak his mind - not that he ever bit his tongue in the commentary-box.’
      • ‘The gap opened quickly, not that there was ever any lessening in Radcliffe's effort.’
      • ‘These must be confusing times for the singer - not that this makes them anything new.’
      • ‘I have experience in this area, not that I have ever visited a working girl as I have not.’
      • ‘It is their art and it is their sport, and it takes up a fair chunk of their lives, not that they complain.’
    not but what
    archaic
    • Nevertheless.

      ‘not but what the picture has its darker side’
      • ‘I'm thinking he'll be sorry to see our backs, not but what he'd cut his throat sooner than admit it!’

Origin

Middle English contraction of the adverb nought.

Pronunciation

not

/nɒt/