From Middle English not, nat, variant of noght, naht (“not, nothing”), from Old English *nōht, nāht (“nought, nothing”), short for nōwiht, nāwiht (“nothing”, literally “not anything”), corresponding to ne (“not”) + ōwiht, āwiht (“anything”), corresponding to ā (“ever, always”) + wiht (“thing, creature”). Cognate with Scots nat, naucht (“not”), Saterland Frisian nit (“not”), West Frisian net (“not”), Dutch niet (“not”), German nicht (“not”). Compare nought, naught and aught. More at no, wight, whit.
not (not comparable)
- Negates the meaning of the modified verb.
- To no degree.
- Used to modify superlatives to indicate the opposite or near opposite, often in a form of understatement.
- And not.
- (slang, 1990s) Used to indicate that the previous phrase was meant sarcastically or ironically.
not (plural nots)
- alternative typography of NOT
- (obsolete) Contraction of ne wot; to know not.