English, 19th century
Notional. Existing as or based on a suggestion, estimate, or theory; not existing in reality. Given to fanciful thinking or exaggerated imagination.
The term is a combination of the English word “notion,” from the Latin “nōtiō,” with the suffix “-ate,” with creates an adjective based on “notion.”
“Notionate” has been overtaken in English by its synonym “notional,” and exists today mainly as a regional expression in the Southern U.S., Northern Ireland, and in Scotland. In nearly all contexts, the term has been used to describe a state of exaggerated imagination. For example, a person describing their grandfather as “old-fashioned and notionate” might be implying that the man is very superstitious and believes in ghosts, elves, or other notionate creatures.
Example: My tendency towards notionate thinking as a kid helped me get through the difficulties of those years.