Definition of notional in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnōSH(ə)n(ə)l/


1Existing only in theory or as a suggestion or idea: notional budgets for hospital and community health services
More example sentences
  • All Italian property owners are liable to pay income tax based on the notional letting value of the property.
  • Hence, one creates these surchargeable contributions, which are a notional figure, based on what it would have been.
  • In a formal sense, of course, the theory refers to some notional riskless rate.
hypothetical, theoretical, speculative, conjectural, suppositional, putative, conceptual;
imaginary, fanciful, unreal, illusory
1.1Existing only in the imagination: Lizzie seemed to vanish into thin air, as if her presence were merely notional
2 Linguistics Denoting or relating to an approach to grammar that is dependent on the definition of terminology (e.g., “a verb is an action word”) as opposed to identification of structures and processes.
Example sentences
  • The notional definition of a noun does not cover such words as action, existence, happiness, temperature that belong to the noun form class on formal criteria.
3(In language teaching) denoting or relating to a syllabus that aims to develop communicative competence.



Pronunciation: /ˈnōSH(ə)nəlē/
Example sentences
  • Some Labor figures dismiss this poll, questioning its methodology, and especially doubting if the preferences would fall the way Newspoll has notionally distributed them.
  • To the modern eye, it looks like a fairy-tale notionally transferred to a modern setting, based on a simple narrative system of dualities: good and bad, country and city, sweet blonde wife and wicked brunette mistress.
  • This haunting work, though notionally concerned with attempts at intrusive human settlement on Mars, is pervaded by a sense of solitude and loss, particularly with regard to the fragile and doomed Martians.


Late Middle English (in the Latin sense): from obsolete French, or from medieval Latin notionalis 'relating to an idea', from notion- 'idea' (see notion).

Words that rhyme with notional

devotional, emotional, promotional

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: no·tion·al

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