A notch is a small cut or nick in something. People make notches to keep track of things.

If you've even seen a little U-shaped or V-shaped cut in something, you've seen a notch. In prison, criminals will make notches on the wall to keep track of how long they've been there. If you're stranded on a desert island, you might make notches on a tree. When you make a notch, you're notching. A notch is also part of a mountain range that is lower than the peaks around it — also called a mountain pass.

Definitions of notch

n a small cut

nick, snick
Type of:
cut, cutting
the act of penetrating or opening open with a sharp edge

n a V-shaped indentation

“mandibular notch
incisura, incisure
(anatomy) a notch or small hollow
mandibular notch
small indentation in the middle of the lower jawbone
Type of:
indentation, indenture
a concave cut into a surface or edge (as in a coastline)

n a V-shaped or U-shaped indentation carved or scratched into a surface

“there were four notches in the handle of his revolver”
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a single notch in a row of notches
thumb index
one of a series of rounded notches in the fore edge of a book to indicate sections
a notch cut in the trunk of tree in order to determine the direction of its fall
a serration on a saw blade
Type of:
indentation, indenture
a concave cut into a surface or edge (as in a coastline)

n the location in a range of mountains of a geological formation that is lower than the surrounding peaks

mountain pass, pass
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Brenner Pass
an Alpine mountain pass connecting Innsbruck in Austria with Bolzano in Italy that has long been a route for trade and for invasions
Cumberland Gap
a pass through the Cumberland Mountains between Virginia and Kentucky that early settlers used in order to move west
Donner Pass
a mountain pass in northeastern California near Lake Tahoe; site where in 1844 some members of an emigrant party survived by eating those who had died
Khyber Pass
a mountain pass of great strategic and commercial value in the Hindu Kush on the border between northern Pakistan and western Afghanistan; a route by which invaders entered India
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col, gap
a pass between mountain peaks
defile, gorge
a narrow pass (especially one between mountains)
saddle, saddleback
a pass or ridge that slopes gently between two peaks (is shaped like a saddle)
water gap
a pass in a mountain ridge through which a stream flows
wind gap
a pass in a mountain ridge with no stream flowing through it
Type of:
a point or extent in space

v cut or make a notch into

notch the rope”
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mark, nock, score
make small marks into the surface of
notch the edge of or make jagged
scratch the surface of
make a small cut or score into
score a line on with a pointed instrument, as in metalworking
mark with lines
make a recess in
Type of:
make an incision into by carving or cutting

v notch a surface to record something

Type of:
enter, put down, record
make a record of; set down in permanent form

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