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notion +‎ -al


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnəʊʃənəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊʃənəl


notional (comparative more notional, superlative most notional)

  1. Of, containing, or being a notion; mental or imaginary.
    Near-synonyms: conceptual, fancied, fanciful, ideal
    The idea that a rooster says cock-a-doodle-doo rather than ooh ooh-ooh ooh-ooh is socially conventional even though its sound correspondence is at heart notional.
  2. Speculative, theoretical, not the result of research.
    This paper proposes a notional Federated Identity Management (FIM) architecture.
  3. (Maine) Stubborn.
  4. (linguistics) Having descriptive value as opposed to a syntactic category.
  5. (finance) Used to indicate an estimate or a reference amount
    • 2009 March 11, “Gold inches up on bargain hunt, ETF hits record”, in Ninemsn:
      Gold traded at $909.00 an ounce, up 0.2 percent from New York's notional close of $906.65 on Wednesday.
    • 2009 March 3, “Harvard Accepts Higher Debt Costs as Bankers Profit”, in Bloomberg:
      Under the agreements, Harvard paid the banks fixed interest rates on a total notional amount of $3.52 billion in exchange for floating-rate payments from them.
  6. (informal) Full of ideas or imaginings.
    • 1995, Walter D. Edmonds, In the Hands of the Senecas, page 137:
      She knew what Pete would say if she told him about it — he would say she was getting notional; and she did not want Pete to think of her as a notional woman. Notional women sometimes had a hard time marrying unless they had money.


Derived terms[edit]



notional (plural notionals)

  1. A fake company used as a front in espionage.
    • 2012, Joseph C. Goulden, Peter Earnest, The Dictionary of Espionage: Spyspeak Into English, page 157:
      Numerous CIA notionals, created to counter Communist organizations in Western Europe during the Cold War years, remain active and unrevealed.