1. A mark or token by which a thing may be known; a visible sign; a character; a distinctive mark or feature; a characteristic quality. "Whosoever appertain to the visible body of the church, they have also the notes of external profession." (Hooker) "She [the Anglican church] has the note of possession, the note of freedom from party titles,the note of life a tough life and a vigorous." (J. H. Newman) "What a note of youth, of imagination, of impulsive eagerness, there was through it all !" (Mrs. Humphry Ward)

2. A mark, or sign, made to call attention, to point out something to notice, or the like; a sign, or token, proving or giving evidence.

3. A brief remark; a marginal comment or explanation; hence, an annotation on a text or author; a comment; a critical, explanatory, or illustrative observation. "The best writers have been perplexed with notes, and obscured with illustrations." (Felton)

4. A brief writing intended to assist the memory; a memorandum; a minute.

5. Hence, a writing intended to be used in speaking; memoranda to assist a speaker, being either a synopsis, or the full text of what is to be said; as, to preach from notes; also, a reporter's memoranda; the original report of a speech or of proceedings.

6. A short informal letter; a billet.

7. A diplomatic missive or written communication.

8. A written or printed paper acknowledging a debt, and promising payment; as, a promissory note; a note of hand; a negotiable note.

9. A list of items or of charges; an account. "Here is now the smith's note for shoeing." (Shak)

10. A character, variously formed, to indicate the length of a tone, and variously placed upon the staff to indicate its pitch. Hence: A musical sound; a tone; an utterance; a tune.

A key of the piano or organ. "The wakeful bird . . . Tunes her nocturnal note." (Milton) "That note of revolt against the eighteenth century, which we detect in Goethe, was struck by Winckelmann." (W. Pater)

11. Observation; notice; heed. "Give orders to my servants that they take No note at all of our being absent hence." (Shak)

12. Notification; information; intelligence. "The king . . . Shall have note of this." (Shak)

13. State of being under observation. "Small matters . . . Continually in use and in note." (Bacon)

14. Reputation; distinction; as, a poet of note. "There was scarce a family of note which had not poured out its blood on the field or the scaffold." (Prescott)

15. Stigma; brand; reproach. Note of hand, a promissory note.

Origin: F. Note, L. Nota; akin to noscere, notum, to know. See Know.

(01 Mar 1998)

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