NB Meaning: What Does the Useful Term “NB” Stand For?

Last Updated on July 10, 2023

The acronym “NB” is not used as much anymore as it used to be in the history of literature. Chances are if you have signed any kind of legal documents lately or agreed to any License Agreements on the internet, this is most likely where you encountered the acronym. If you were left wondering what the meaning of this acronym could be, then you have arrived at the right page. Below, you will not only find the meaning of this acronym, but you will also learn about its origin and see some other phrases that this acronym could represent. You will also see some example conversations aimed at highlighting the proper usage of this acronym to help you better understand how it is used. Lastly, you will discover some synonyms for the phrase this acronym represents.

Key Takeaways

  • “NB” is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “nota bene” meaning “note well”
  • The abbreviation is used to draw attention to important points in a text
  • Its usage in writing helps guide readers through complex documents and ensures critical elements are considered.

NB Meaning

What Does NB Mean?

NB is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “nota bene“, which translates to “note well” in English. This phrase is commonly used in writing to draw attention to a particular point or detail that the writer wants the reader to pay special attention to. A friendly reminder, NB can be a valuable tool to emphasize crucial information without being overbearing.

Using NB can help writers guide their readers through a piece of writing by highlighting significant aspects they should be aware of while reading. For instance, if there is an essential deadline inside an article or a critical condition that must be met, utilizing NB can assist the reader in retaining such information.

Here are a few examples of NB usage in sentences:

  • NB: The registration for the event closes on July 15.
  • NB: This formula is only applicable to certain conditions.
  • NB: Don’t forget to read the fine print before signing.

In conclusion, NB is a concise and friendly way to direct readers to essential information or details within a text. It is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “nota bene” and serves as a helpful means of emphasizing points without being intrusive. Its versatile usage across various forms of writing, from academic papers to informal emails, makes it an enduring and valuable tool for writers and readers alike.

Origin of NB

The acronym comes from the term itself and the term “nota bene” has been derived from two older Latin words. The first is the word “notre” meaning “to note”. The second is the word “bene” meaning “well.” The phrase is used widely in written works throughout the history of literature and is especially used in legal documents. Areas of importance are highlighted with this acronym to draw attention to it and to make sure people read what is contained there. You may see the term appear on the internet in License Agreements and other legal information. You may also see it used by people when they want to draw your attention to something important as a sidenote or addition to their original posts.

Related Terms to Nota Bene

Dignum Memoria

Dignum Memoria (DM) is another Latin abbreviation that translates to “worthy of memory.” It is used to emphasize something significant or worth remembering. While not as common as Nota Bene, it may still be encountered in specific contexts like historical texts and academic papers.

Notate Bene

Notate Bene represents a variation of the phrase “nota bene.” This alternate version also means “note well” and acts as an imperative command. It originates from the Latin verb “notare,” which signifies “to note.” Both Nota Bene (N.B.) and Notate Bene may be used interchangeably in contexts where special attention is required.

Medieval Equivalents

In medieval manuscripts, there were several symbols and marks utilized to draw attention to essential information. One such symbol was the paraph mark (¶), used to denote crucial points or new sections. Another sign, the manicule, finger-pointing symbol, came into use in later medieval manuscripts. Manicules were typically drawn by scribes to highlight important notes in the margin.


The manicule (☞) is a hand-drawn symbol resembling a small hand with a pointing index finger. Scribes and readers employed it in the margins of medieval manuscripts to emphasize critical passages. Though not explicitly a Latin abbreviation, the manicule serves a similar purpose as Nota Bene by drawing attention to vital details. Its use has decreased in modern times, but it remains a fascinating historical symbol.

NB Meaning in Conversations

A text message exchange between two friends.

  • Friend 1: Did you get the last part of the project done yet?
  • Friend 2 Not yet! I have been swamped with homework every night this week. I am going to finish it up this weekend.
  • Friend 1: Okay! Sounds good! NB: the professor moved the due date back to Tuesday instead of Monday since he will not be in class on Monday.
  • Friend 2: Noted!

An online conversation between two game players.

  • Player 1: I am having so much trouble beating this last boss.
  • Player 2: You have to make sure you use the diamond sword.
  • Player 1: I am using the diamond sword, but when I hit him it barely does any damage.
  • Player 2: NB: you have to find his “soft spots” so aim for his head and you will take him down in no time.
  • Player 1: Noted! Thank you!

More about NB Terminology

Other Ways to Say “NB”

There are a few other phrases that you could use to represent the phrase that this acronym is used for. Some of the other ways you could say “note well” include:

  • take notice
  • this is important
  • note

Other Meanings

There are many other meanings of this acronym suggested, so many that it would be nearly impossible to mention all of them here and some are simply made up for the amusement of others. However, some of the phrases that this acronym can also represent are “not bad,” “non-binary,” “nose breather,” “not bothered,” and “nervous breakdown.”

NB Meaning Infographic

NB Meaning: What Does NB Mean and Stand For? with Useful ConversationsPin

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of NB in communication?

NB is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase nota bene, which translates to “note well.” It is used to mark important information or draw attention to a particular point in written communication. It indicates that the reader should pay extra attention to what follows because it is critical or noteworthy.

How is NB used in written conversations?

In written conversations, NB is used to emphasize an important detail or point that the writer wants the reader to notice. It often precedes an instruction or a piece of information, acting as an attention grabber and encouraging the reader to take it into account.

What is the purpose of NB in social media?

In social media, NB serves a similar purpose as in other written communications. It highlights essential information and helps users focus on specific details or points within a post or message. Including NB in a social media post or comment can help ensure that users take notice of the important information, advice, or instructions that follow.

Can you provide an example of NB usage in a text?

Certainly! Here’s an example of how NB might be used in a text message:

“Hey! Just wanted to let you know that the party starts at 8 pm tonight. NB: Bring your own drinks and snacks!”

In this example, NB is used to draw attention to the important detail that attendees should bring their own drinks and snacks to the party.

Is it appropriate to use NB in formal writing?

NB can be used in formal writing, as it has its origins in Latin and has been traditionally used in academic and professional contexts. However, depending on the specific situation and the intended audience, some writers may choose to use alternatives such as “please note” or “it is important to note” to convey the same meaning.

What are some alternative phrases for NB in different contexts?

Some alternatives to NB in various contexts include:

  • “Please note” — suitable for both formal and casual settings
  • “It is important to note” — typically used in more formal or professional contexts
  • “Keep in mind” — appropriate for casual conversations and informal writing
  • “Take note of” — can be used in both casual and formal communication.

These alternatives can be utilized interchangeably with NB, depending on the tone and formality of the communication.

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