de·​note di-ˈnōt How to pronounce denote (audio)
denoted; denoting; denotes

transitive verb

: to serve as an indication of : betoken
the swollen bellies that denote starvation
: to serve as an arbitrary mark for
red flares denoting danger
: to make known : announce
his crestfallen look denoted his distress
: to serve as a linguistic expression of the notion of : mean
in the southern U.S., the word "toboggan" denotes a stocking cap
: to stand for : designate
the symbol / denotes "or," "and or," or "per"
An epiphany is, literally, a showing. In Christian terminology it denotes the showing of the infant Jesus to the three Magi.David Lodge
denotement noun

Example Sentences

The word “derby” can denote a horse race or a kind of hat. Her death denoted the end of an era.
Recent Examples on the Web Since the sun denotes your drive and attitude, Sunday explains that those with a fire Sun sign love to stand out in a crowd. Women's Health, 12 May 2023 In addition to a pair of aluminum paddle shifters, the steering wheel wears an orange band at the 12 o'clock mark, denoting its performance edge. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 10 May 2023 Mariah Carey, Lewis Capaldi, Whitney Houston, Coldplay and Sam Smith are among the first recipients of the new BRIT Billion Award, denoting 1 billion career UK streams. Paul Grein, Billboard, 4 May 2023 Available for iOS and iPadOS devices running version 16.4.1 or Macs running version 13.3.1, the update adds an (a) to your OS version to denote that it's been installed. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 1 May 2023 Not only would that be an offensive way to denote a mental health crisis, but also, loving cats doesn't imply a lack of sanity. Staff Report, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2023 Musk himself has promoted transphobic narratives, including belittling the practice of openly denoting one’s pronouns. Julia Malleck, Quartz, 19 Apr. 2023 Now yellow check marks indicate corporate accounts, while gray check marks denote the accounts of government officials. Kate Conger, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2023 The error in District 1 stemmed from a typo on election workers' instructions denoting which ballot to give voters in different parts of the ward. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'denote.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French denoter, from Latin denotare, from de- + notare to note

First Known Use

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of denote was in 1562

Dictionary Entries Near denote

Cite this Entry

“Denote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​note di-ˈnōt How to pronounce denote (audio)
: to mark out plainly : point out : indicate
the hands of a clock denote the time
: to make known : show
smiled to denote pleasure
: to have the meaning of : mean, name
the word "derby" can denote a horse race or a kind of hat

More from Merriam-Webster on denote

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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