connotation

noun
con·​no·​ta·​tion | \ ˌkä-nə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce connotation (audio) \

Definition of connotation

1a : something suggested by a word or thing : implication the connotations of comfort that surrounded that old chair
b : the suggesting of a meaning by a word apart from the thing it explicitly names or describes
2 : the signification of something … that abuse of logic which consists in moving counters about as if they were known entities with a fixed connotation.— William Ralph Inge
3 : an essential property or group of properties of a thing named by a term in logic — compare denotation

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Other Words from connotation

connotational \ ˌkä-​nə-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce connotational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

What’s the difference between connotation and denotation ?

Connotation and denotation are easily confused, and the fact that neither word is particularly common in everyday use makes it difficult for many people to get a firm grip on the difference between them. While each of these two words has several possible meanings, they are notably distinct from each other in all senses. Denotation is concerned with explicit meaning, and connotation tends to be concerned with implicit meaning. The word home, for instance, has a denotation of “the place (such as a house or apartment) where a person lives,” but it may additionally have many connotations (such as “warmth,” “security,” or “childhood”) for some people.

Examples of connotation in a Sentence

Miuccia Prada, a connoisseur of vintage jewelry, has a collection of tiaras and subverts their formal connotations by wearing them for the day. — Hamish Bowles, Vogue, March 1997 Suddenly, Hsun-ching brightened. "So this is propaganda?" Alison did not know that, in Chinese, the word for propaganda literally means to spread information, and does not carry any negative connotations. — Mark Salzman, The Laughing Sutra, 1991 The word "evolution," with its connotation of unrolling, of progressive development, was not favored by Darwin; he preferred the bleak phrase "descent with modification" for his theory. — John Updike, New Yorker, 30 Dec. 1985 a word with negative connotations For many people, the word “fat” has negative connotations. The word “childlike” has connotations of innocence.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And while the idea of renting furniture can conjure up tasteless connotations, Feather’s offerings are anything but. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Rent the Room: Is the Furniture Industry About to Be Disrupted?," 15 May 2019 But Kaminsky also mines puppetry’s negative connotations too; when villagers are kidnapped and killed, puppets are hung on their doors. Sarah Neilson, The Seattle Times, "Ilya Kaminsky’s ‘Deaf Republic’ challenges and incites," 29 Mar. 2019 Some people believe that there are negative connotations to the term, gender-wise and historically. Sarah Yang, House Beautiful, "Will the Term "Master Bedroom" No Longer Exist?," 17 Apr. 2013 Learn more about the religious connotations and history behind Easter colors below. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "The Surprising Meaning Behind Easter Colors," 22 Mar. 2019 Pacification efforts to curtail crime in these communities (also called favelas, though this term has developed a derogatory connotation over time) have not entirely worked. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Rio de Janeiro, Right Now: 5 Reasons to Visit the Extraordinary Brazilian City," 19 Mar. 2019 Cabrera’s mission with hood yoga is to not just bring a more positive connotation to the word, but to promote wellness for people of all races and backgrounds. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Phoenix 'Hood Yoga' studio created for people looking for different beat," 21 June 2018 Wearing an actual cape doesn't hurt the superhero connotations. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Perfect White Cape Blazer, We Salute You," 6 Feb. 2019 But the whole point of this tape is to bring people together and giving a different face of the connotation of what South Florida is. Tony Centeno, Billboard, "Sylvan LaCue Premieres 'Florida Man' Video, Talks Dedicating New Mixtape to His Grandmother: Exclusive," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'connotation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of connotation

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for connotation

see connote

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Statistics for connotation

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for connotation

The first known use of connotation was in 1532

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More Definitions for connotation

connotation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of connotation

: an idea or quality that a word makes you think about in addition to its meaning

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