General English


  • (written as NOT)
    A logic operator which inverts the input. If its single input is 0, then its output is I. And, if its input is 1, then its output is 0. For example, a NOT operation converts 10101 into 01010. For such operations, a 1 is considered as a true, or high, value, and 0 is a false, or low, value. Also called NOT operation, or negation.


  • noun
    (written as not)
    handmade paper pressed without metal plates, giving a very rough finish.


  • exclamation a contradiction of the previous statement. The usage, which some linguists claim to have originated in Celtic languages, was popularised by the cult US film Wayne’s World in 1992 and the comedy sketches on the US TV programme, Saturday Night Live, on which it was based. It neatly replaces the older mechanism whereby the phrase ‘I don’t think!’ was appended.

Origin & History of “not(!)”

In Old English and early middle English the simple particle ne was used for making negative sentences. But it was evidently often felt to be in need of some reinforcement, for purposes of emphasis, and to do this job noht was brought in. ancestor of modern English nought (OE), it was a compound formed from ne and ōwiht ‘anything’ (precursor of archaic modern English ought). By the end of the 13th century this was being widely used as the sole negator in sentences, the ne having been dispensed with, and we soon find spellings reflecting the sort of reduction in pronunciation from nought to not that one would expect from its often weakly-stressed position.