Definition of notional in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈnəʊʃ(ə)n(ə)l/


1Existing as or based on a suggestion, estimate, or theory; not existing in reality: 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.
2 Linguistics Denoting or relating to an approach to grammar which is dependent on the definition of terminology (e.g. ‘a verb is a doing 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.



Pronunciation: /ˈnəʊʃ(ə)n(ə)li/
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 notio(n-) 'idea' (see notion).

Words that rhyme with notional

devotional, emotional, promotional
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.