Nota bene

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Nota bene (/ˈntɑːˈbɛnɛ/; alternative pronunciations /ˈnoʊtə ˈbeɪni, ˈbɛni, ˈbini/; plural form notate bene) is an Italian and Latin phrase meaning "note well".[1] The phrase first appeared in writing circa 1721.[2]

Often abbreviated as "NB", "N.b." or "n.b.", nota bene comes from the Latin roots notāre ("to note") and bene ("well").[1] It is in the singular imperative mood, instructing one individual to note well the matter at hand. In present-day English, it is used, particularly in legal papers,[3] to draw the attention of the reader to a certain (side) aspect or detail of the subject on hand, translating it as "pay attention" or "take notice". While "N.B." is often used in academic writing, "note" is a common substitute.

The Oxford ancient historian Robin Lane Fox is a well known proponent of "N.B." in both oral and written scholarly publications.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "nota bene". Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas (Historian) (2010). "nota bene". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  3. ^ "nota bene". HM Courts & Tribunals Service - Glossary of terms - Latin. Her Majesty's Courts Service, United Kingdom. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  4. ^ NB. Plutarch Eumenes, Diodoros XVII et al.