Definition of denotation
1 : an act or process of denoting
2 : meaning; especially : a direct specific meaning as distinct from an implied or associated idea <comparing a word's denotation with its connotations> <In fact, the “Parks and Recreation” alum said he didn't know the word's medical denotation. — Nardine Saad>
3a : a denoting term : nameb : sign, indication <visible denotations of divine wrath> < … which is why many articles and essays have a “time it takes to read this” denotation alongside the title or author's name. — Chris Campanioni>
4 : the totality of things to which a term is applicable especially in logic — compare connotation
Examples of denotation in a sentence
The word has one literal denotation but several different connotations.
The definition provides the word's denotation.
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.
Origin and Etymology of denotation
First Known Use: circa 1532
DENOTATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of denotation for English Language Learners
: the meaning of a word or phrase
Seen and Heard
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