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

Examples of denote in a Sentence

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 And every agent wears a nametag lanyard with attached ribbons denoting sales goals achieved, landmarks passed, accomplishments reached. Journal Sentinel, 23 May 2024 The latter may sound more like poetic prose than legal jargon, but this phrase—unbeknownst to most casual fliers—actually denotes the five official rights that make international air travel possible. Ramsey Qubein, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Mar. 2024 The colors symbolize different particle temperatures: blue and purple indicate cold and warm dust, respectively, and yellow denotes hot gas. Riis Williams, Scientific American, 25 June 2024 The sporty moto jackets include an array of patches, from an American flag to Team USA emblems and one denoting the athlete's sport. Lindsay Kimble, Peoplemag, 18 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for denote 

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 13 Jul. 2024.

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

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