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

That’s because Shelton–who co-wrote the script with Mike O’Brien–cares more about interpersonal dynamics than any silly old sword, especially one with racist connotations. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Witty Banter Carries Sword of Trust to the Hilt," 11 July 2019 Their tattoos feature neo-Nazi connotations such as SS runic insignia. Michael Colborne, The New Republic, "Friday Night Fights With Ukraine’s Far Right," 9 July 2019 This sardonic connotation was coined in the 19th century by Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish philosopher, historian and social commentator. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: What radical politician made this proclamation?," 7 July 2019 For Melvoin herself, the ballad still harbors an intensely personal connotation as Prince had written it partially about her. Ron Hart, Billboard, "Prince Collaborators Share Stories About the Songs He Gave to Others on 'Originals'," 26 June 2019 McMaster was struggling with the idea of being a gay man because of the negative connotations associated with it at the time. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "On 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the Denver LGBTQ community reflects on the moment that “blew open the doors”," 14 June 2019 More than sixty years after Truman spoke those words, socialism still is marked by strong connotations and conflicting definitions in the United States. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "The Many, Tangled American Definitions of Socialism," 14 June 2019 There can be some blurriness between what constitutes a demon versus a ghost, but in most cases, a demon is capable of possessing humans, can usually shape-shift, and often come alongside some religious connotations. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Ghosts, witches, zombies: which supernatural creature makes the most money at the box office?," 31 Oct. 2018 The move is being implemented due to the racial connotations of the term for a league in which Black athletes make up the majority of its players. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "NBA Moves Away From 'Owner' Label for Racial Sensitivity, Favoring 'Governor' Instead," 25 June 2019

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

16 Jul 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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Comments on connotation

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