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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from denote

denotement \ di-​ˈnōt-​mənt How to pronounce denotement (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 No one term could denote all that these journeys entail—smugglers, bribes, boats across the Mediterranean, barefoot walks through the Darién Gap. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "How “The Memory Police” Makes You See," 6 Nov. 2019 Every item in her & Other Stories collection will come with a legend on the clothing tag, where Lupi has denoted the meaning of each line, shape, or color. Vogue, "Information Designer Giorgia Lupi Debuts a Collaboration With & Other Stories That Celebrates Women in Science," 6 Nov. 2019 Some may contend the word, in this context, simply denotes a search for the candidate best equipped to take down Donald Trump. Leonard Pitts Jr - Miami Herald, The Mercury News, "Pitts: Democrats arguments over electability are annoying," 18 Sep. 2019 Luke Shaw, who sits in third position just four points behind PJ, has gone for a similar formula, except the number denotes his Red Devils shirt number., "Man Utd's Players Play Fantasy Premier League & Chris Smalling (?!) Is Winning," 22 Aug. 2019 Dyed diesel denotes that it is not taxed, generally for one of two reasons. Colin Campbell,, "What we know, and what we don’t, about the van full of fuel that brought Baltimore to a standstill Monday," 10 Sep. 2019 Thanks to the gallery wall trend and the increasing variation in home decor, a mishmash of materials and styles denotes a collection amassed over time. Jennifer Barger, Washington Post, "Picture frames: How to find the best companies and the best deals," 3 Sep. 2019 Within this category, smaller subsets—such as Bordeaux Supérieur AOC (a special designation within the broader Bordeaux AOC that denotes a slightly higher quality)—also exist. Fortune, "Can New Grapes Save the Wine Industry From Climate Change?," 31 Aug. 2019 The soft yellows and big picture that denote the past is gone and in their place is a widescreen, cinematic image populated by icy grays and greens. Ariana Romero,, "Here Is Your New Trick To Recognizing A 13 Reasons Why Flashback," 24 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about denote

Time Traveler for denote

Time Traveler

The first known use of denote was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Statistics for denote

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Denote.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for denote


How to pronounce denote (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of denote

of a word : 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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on denote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for denote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denote

Spanish Central: Translation of denote

Nglish: Translation of denote for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of denote for Arabic Speakers

Comments on denote

What made you want to look up denote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!