1. (used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition): You must not do that. It’s not far from here.
  2. U.S. Slang. (used jocularly as a postpositive interjection to indicate that a previous statement is untrue): I just love working overtime without pay. Not!


  1. not so much, Informal. (an expression of dismissive scorn, ambivalence, or skepticism): Attractive? Yes. Smart? Not so much. Is the world coming to an end? Yeah, not so much.


  1. a Boolean operator that returns a positive result if its operand is negative and a negative result if its operand is positive.

  1. variant of noto- before a vowel.


    1. used to negate the sentence, phrase, or word that it modifiesI will not stand for it
    2. (in combination)they cannot go
  1. not that (conjunction) which is not to say or suppose thatI expect to lose the game — not that I mind Also (archaic): not but what

sentence substitute

  1. used to indicate denial, negation, or refusalcertainly not

combining form

  1. a variant of noto-

negative particle, mid-13c., unstressed variant of noht, naht “in no way” (see naught). As an interjection to negate what was said before or reveal it as sarcasm, it is first attested 1900; popularized 1989 by “Wayne’s World” sketches on “Saturday Night Live” TV show. To not know X from Y (one’s ass from one’s elbow, shit from Shinola, etc.) was a construction first attested c.1930. Double negative construction not un- was derided by Orwell, but is persistent and ancient in English, popular with Milton and the Anglo-Saxon poets. In addition to the idioms beginning with not

  • not a bad sort
  • not a bit
  • not able
  • not about to
  • not a Chinaman’s chance
  • not a hope in hell
  • not a leg to stand on
  • not a living soul
  • not all it’s cracked up to be
  • not all that
  • not all there
  • not anything like
  • not at all
  • not bad
  • not bat an eye
  • not be caught dead
  • not born yesterday
  • not breathe a word
  • not built that way
  • not by a long shot
  • not by any means
  • not cricket
  • not done
  • not enough room to swing a cat
  • not feel oneself
  • not for all the tea in China
  • not for a moment
  • not for love or money
  • not give a damn
  • not give someone the time of day
  • not half bad
  • not have a bean
  • not have a clue
  • not have an earthly chance
  • not have anything on
  • not have it
  • not have one’s heart in it
  • not have the heart to
  • not having any
  • not hurt a fly
  • not if one can help it
  • not if you paid me
  • not in the least
  • not know beans
  • not know enough to come in out of the rain
  • not know someone from Adam
  • not know where to turn
  • not know whether one is coming or going
  • not let the grass grow under one’s feet
  • not lift a finger
  • not miss a trick
  • not move a muscle
  • not my cup of tea
  • not one iota
  • not one’s day, this is
  • not oneself
  • not on your life
  • not open one’s mouth
  • not put something past someone
  • not right in the head
  • not see beyond one’s nose
  • not suffer fools gladly
  • not take no for answer
  • not the half of it
  • not the only fish in the sea
  • not think much of
  • not to be sneezed at
  • not to mention
  • not touch with a ten-foot pole
  • not to worry
  • not turn a hair
  • not up to
  • not worth a damn
  • also see:

  • all that glitters is not gold
  • (not) all there
  • (not) at all
  • believe it or not
  • caught dead, not be
  • (not a) Chinaman’s chance
  • coming or going, not know if
  • do as I say (not as I do)
  • game is not worth the candle
  • heart (not) in it
  • hold one’s breath, not
  • (not) in the least
  • (not) in the mood
  • it’s (not) your funeral
  • last but not least
  • like as not
  • living soul, not a
  • mince matters, not to
  • more often than not
  • (not) move a muscle
  • no problem (not to worry)
  • (not to) sneeze at
  • (not) take no for an answer
  • (not) the half of it
  • (not) turn a hair
  • two wrongs do not make a right
  • waste not, want not
  • whether or not
  • without a (not a) leg to stand on
  • won’t (will not) hear of
  • For verbal phrases also see undercan’tcouldn’twouldn’t.

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