c. 1300, "a song, music, instrumental music; a musical note," from Latin nota "letter, character, note," originally "a mark, sign, means of recognition," which traditionally has been connected to notus, past participle of noscere (Old Latin *gnoscere) "to know," but de Vaan reports this is "impossible," and with no attractive alternative explanation, it is of unknown origin. Meaning "notice, attention, reputation" is early 14c. Meaning "brief writing" is from 1540s.
c. 1200, "observe, take mental note of, mark carefully," from Old French noter "indicate, designate; take note of, write down," from Latin notare "to mark, note, make a note," from nota "mark, sign, note, character, letter" (see note (n.)). Meaning "to set in writing" is from early 14c. Related: Noted; noting.
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