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

Definition of denote

transitive verb

1 : to serve as an indication of : betoken the swollen bellies that denote starvation
2 : to serve as an arbitrary mark for red flares denoting danger
3 : to make known : announce his crestfallen look denoted his distress
4a : to serve as a linguistic expression of the notion of : mean in the southern U.S., the word "toboggan" denotes a stocking cap
b : 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

Other Words from denote

denotement \ di-​ˈnōt-​mənt How to pronounce denote (audio) , dē-​ \ 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 Lightness and sheerness were the key ideas behind these costumes, with pastel shades used to denote nobility. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 22 Dec. 2021 Bottlesare often labeled to denote the type of grape used. Fabien Jacob, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Dec. 2021 His fourth-down choices are all data-driven by a system that assigns a color — green, yellow or red — to denote how strongly the numbers lean one way or the other. Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 But the hue can denote the serene and the celestial, which are also evoked by the exhibition, first shown at Cross’s home gallery and now on display in condensed form at Waddell Art Gallery at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun Campus. Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2021 The austerity and sleekness that Hollywood uses to denote steps forward in time would have been antithetical to Herbert’s vision. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2021 The Saysh One was actually inspired by a wrap dress, which is also reminiscent of Allyson’s place of work, similar to the lines that denote a running track. Olivia Perez, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 Director of Photography Edu Grau’s crisp images, with its frame in a standard Academic 4:3 aspect ratio, denote an intimacy. Sheena Scott, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 The term, which emerges from Mexican slang used to denote something vulgar or of little value, has been embraced by artists and urbanists who see in it an aesthetic of resilience. Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denote.' 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 denote

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denote

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

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Last Updated

3 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Denote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for denote



English Language Learners Definition of denote

: to have (something) as a meaning : to mean (something)
: to show, mark, or be a sign of (something)


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

Kids Definition of denote

1 : to serve as a mark or indication of A star on the map denotes a capital.
2 : to have the meaning of : mean "Derby" denotes a contest or a hat.

More from Merriam-Webster on denote

Nglish: Translation of denote for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of denote for Arabic Speakers


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